Wednesday, 17 March 2010

BA and Unite - The Story Extends Abroad

This worries me. What are Unite up to? This is becoming far more than an employer/employee dispute if Unite are involving international unions.

Perhaps it's just that Charlie Whelan is determined to destroy British Airways. Maybe I'm becoming paranoid but it seems sinister this move.

Union supporters will say this is normal. I disagree. This dispute is between the workers of a British company and their British employer.


Events dear boy, events said...

It is much more than a dispute. This is the deadly game of politics.

It is about the power play within a union and a fight for the future of the Labour party.

subrosa said...

I've just read your post Howard and yes, I would agree. Why is unite seeking help from the US though?

Events dear boy, events said...

It is all to do with Bassa, who are fighting for their existence. Also, the union movement is a brotherhood and has very close international ties.

The Tory party have been stupid to get involved in this. They don't understand the unbreakable relationship between Labour and the unions.

subrosa said...

Thanks for that Howard. I notice the Times article has some interesting comments.

William said...

If it's good enough for corporations to export jobs into the lands of child labour then there's no reason why unions can't use the wonderful world of 'globalisation' for their own benefit.

Of course, what should have happened is that Unite should have rolled over and accepted the rancid views of Theresa Villiers. But, help ma Boab, they've actually tried to be creative and are thinking for themselves.

It'll never last.

subrosa said...

Another interesting view, thanks William. It will be intriguing to see how this pans out.

Hythlodaeus said...

I can take a pretty good stab at why Unite are talking to unions from other countries: BA are hiring planes and crews from other companies to act as scabs during the strike.

I suspect that the US union will be encouraging their members to take wildcat action in the event they are rotaed on to such a flight.

I have a feeling, although can't be 100% certain, that Unite have done similar things before when other countries have been hiring crews from BA.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

All part of the dance.

It's time BA got all its rubber on terra firma anyway!

The Ryanair's and Easy Jet's have shown how cheap air travel can be delivered. Yet BA still charges fairs that are so expensive, ten flights and you could buy the plane.

That said, it does underline the fact it's Britain's national airline and fully committed to the rip off factor endemic in British commercial culture.

subrosa said...

Ah I see Hythlodaeus, I didn't realise they were hiring planes as I thought the pilots were on board.

I too remember something about a union going overseas for help. Wasn't it to do with the fuel strike a few years ago. Then again, I may well be entirely wrong.

subrosa said...

It's an expensive airline right enough RA. Last night I read something on a US blog and it said the US airline business would just be delighted if BA were destroyed because it would create superb space for them to fill.

Hythlodaeus said...

As far as I know Subrosa, you're right, the pilots are siding with BA. I suspect the reason planes plus pilots and crews are being hired together is probably down to details in the way things are carried out on board. Different arrangements on different planes and so on.

It'll certainly be providing some other operators with much needed business though. A number of airlines have been mothballing planes or returning them to the builders simply because they don't have the custom for their capacity just now.

subrosa said...

Interesting time for the airline industry Hythlodaeus.

Personally I would prefer to travel by train within UK. All my life governments have spoken about having speedier rail links from the south of England to Scotland and it's never happened to any degree.

Now, if we had good rail at a fair price, then lots of the BA staff could skill transfer couldn't they. Just a thought.

Oh how I'd like to go back to when you could have a good meal on a train and have excellent service. That was all part of the experience.

Allan said...

It's a very ugly dispute Sub, im sure i heard a report a few weeks ago where cabin staff were alleging that a culture of bullying existed with in BA. Funnily enough this was about the time of the stories about our dear leader's temper tantrum's.

A bad time to bury sympathetic news

subrosa said...

Bullying exists everywhere Allan. Private and public sector. The worst bullying I ever experienced was a union boss on a picket line in Germany where the British employed workers didn't want to strike.

I'll never forget the man and his 'pals' behaviour and language.

Rob Royston said...

Why are they still called British Airways? They only fly from Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Newcastle and Manchester down to Heathrow and Gatwick. Their flights used to criss-cross all of Britain.
They should change their name to London Airways.

subrosa said...

I've no problem with that at all Rob. Sounds a good idea to me.

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