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 Post subject: BA Strike Dates
Post Number:#1  PostPosted: 13 Mar 2010 01:21 
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Seven Days of Travel Chaos.
Unite, the union that represents the BA Cabin crew has announced the strike dates.
They are:
20 March a three day walk out
27 March a four day walk out

With threats of further walk-outs in April



For the full story.
From the The Telegraph

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 Post subject: Re: BA Strike Dates
Post Number:#2  PostPosted: 20 Mar 2010 06:34 
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British Airways cabin crew begin strike action


British Airways cabin crew have begun strike action that will cause severe disruption to flights for the next three days.

Talks between the airline and the Unite union, which represents the crew, collapsed on Friday.

A further four days of action are set to begin on 27 March, although BA has said this weekend's action could disrupt flights into next week as well.

Cabin crew are striking over pay and working conditions.

BA says that 65% of passengers will still be able to reach their destination during the first three-day strike, even though a total of 1,100 BA flights out of the 1,950 scheduled to operate will be cancelled.

At Gatwick, all long-haul flights and more than half of short-haul flights are expected to operate as normal.

At Heathrow, more than 60% of long-haul flights will operate, though only 30% of short-haul flights are expected to do so, with the help of aircraft leased from rival airlines.

British Airways cabin crew begin strike

What's the BA dispute about?


Following the collapse of talks between British Airways and the Unite union, BA cabin crew will go on strike from Saturday.
Staff will walk out for three days from 20 March and four days from 27 March. The union has not ruled out further strikes after Easter from 14 April.


What is at the heart of the dispute?

In November, BA reduced the number of cabin crew on long haul flights from 15 to 14 and introduced a two-year pay freeze from 2010. The Unite union said this would hit passenger service, as well as the earnings and career prospects of cabin crew.

The airline has also proposed new contracts for fresh recruits and newly-promoted staff. These include a single on-board management grade, no seniority, promotion on merit, and pay set at market rate plus 10%.

This would still see new recruits paid significantly less than current staff.

The plans for the changes were first presented to company workers in February 2009 and unanimously rejected at a mass meeting in July.

The union said those measures were brought in during November and argued it should have been able to negotiate over changes. But BA disputes this and says it did consult Unite, but that the details were not negotiable.

The union applied for a High Court injunction to block the airline's plans but failed.
There was then a full court hearing examining the contractual issue - but a judge ruled in BA's favour.

Union members say they they have been "unwillingly" working the new schedule.
Unite has put forward its own proposals, which it says would save the airline £63m through a combination of pay cuts and part-time working.

But BA rejected the proposals, saying they would not save as much money as Unite claimed.

What's the BA dispute abou

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 Post subject: Re: BA Strike Dates
Post Number:#3  PostPosted: 21 Mar 2010 15:05 
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Jeremy Clarkson writes about the strike.


Captain to striking cabin crew: boy, are you in for a shock

I am completely baffled by the British Airways strike. People seem to have forgotten about the poor souls whose Easter holiday plans have been ruined and seem hellbent on using the whole affair to discredit Gordon Brown.

We’re told that the Cyclopean Scot is somehow responsible because the Labour party’s election posters are paid for by union dues. And because he once sold a dog to someone who lives next door to someone at Unite, the trade union behind the walkout.

He isn’t responsible, though. He called the strike “deplorable”. Or was it “disgusting”? Something beginning with a “d”, anyway — but not “ducky”. And then he went off to have his photograph taken with a baby, or a soldier.

Then we have those who are surprised by the behaviour of the union. Why? For sure, after Margaret Thatcher took a scalpel to the Shredded Wheat on top of Arthur Scargill’s head, many trade unionists went to try their luck in Australia. Others became environmentalists and health and safety officers, who of course have the same goals, but it stands to reason that one or two ploughed on, taking their holidays in East Germany and thinking of Vanessa Redgrave while making love to their wives.

Plainly, Tony Woodley of Unite is just such a chap. A donkey-jacketed dinosaur from the olden days. So it’s hardly surprising that he called on his members to strike. What is surprising is that more than 80% of the cabin crew voted to do so. This is the font of my bafflement. Because, why?

When I was at school back in the Seventies, everyone was on strike, pretty much all the time. We had no power. We had no coal. And if some Indian women at a film-processing plant in London walked out, we had no government because half of it was on the picket line as well.

And I think that this may be the root cause of the problem. Because I guess that this was long before most of BA’s cabin crew came out. Of the womb, obviously. They therefore don’t really understand what it was like to be on a picket line, and if they do have some inkling, I suspect things will be very different now.

If you went on strike in the Seventies, pretty much everyone except the Freemasons and Ted Heath was on your side. Passers-by would take your leaflets, pat you on the back and see if they could whip up a supportive strike at their workplace.

I remember my very first day at work in 1978. Because it turned out not to be a day at work at all. I walked through the door of the Rotherham Advertiser, a budding young reporter. And precisely 10 minutes later I walked out again, on strike. I didn’t really know why. I still don’t, actually. But it was something to do with a man called Christopher Pole-Carew, who was the managing director of a newspaper in Nottingham and was doing something that upset the local branch of our union. Naturally, we would go on strike to support our colleagues in their struggle against whatever it was that had upset them.

I seem to recall two colleagues trying to talk people from the local sandwich shop into walking out as well. They may have succeeded; I can’t remember. But it would have made sense: some sandwich makers in Rotherham striking because some people in Nottingham were cross about something or other. That was the way of the Seventies.

I should point out that I did consider remaining at my post, especially as I hadn’t been in the job long enough actually to join the union. But my new colleagues said that if I did this they would set me on fire. So, being an invertebrate, I laid my principles on my desk, walked out and spent the next six weeks calling my new boss a scab.

This was the great thing about striking. You could get away with doing things that in ordinary life were just not possible. You could kick a pig. You could hurl abuse at van drivers. You could dismantle buildings and throw the pieces into a canal. And everyone loved you for it. Especially the policemen who were on double time to come up from London and hit you in the face.

What’s more, you were always warm, thanks to the brazier you’d fashioned from a burning police car, and you were always well fed, thanks to the support of the people from the local sandwich shop.

This is probably what the BA cabin crew have in mind. The romance of the Left Bank, the sixth-form intellectualism, the righteous violence, dispensed from the moral high ground. But I suspect they will be sorely, sorely disappointed.

Because most cabin crew I’ve met seem to have Audi TTs, which means theirs isn’t so much a walkout as a drive-out. And I doubt they’ll get much support from people in the local sandwich shop if they’re sitting in their cars on the picket line, staying warm and listening to Smooth FM. And there’ll be lots of raised eyebrows if they lower their electric windows to shout “scab” at the stewardesses from easyJet and Virgin, who, by all accounts, seem to be earning three times less.

Of course, they may think their action will bring BA to its knees and that, in the end, the government will step in with a wad of cash to sort things out. That’s what always happened in the Seventies. But that’s not likely to happen now, mainly because European Union rules forbid it. Unless you’re French.

No. If the cabin crew win, the airline will go under and everyone will be out of a job. So, if they lose, they lose, and if they win, they still lose. Only, if they win, we all lose, because a nation with no national airline is like a nation with no national anthem. Even Ethiopia has one.

I like Virgin. And I flew Singapore Airlines recently, which was out of this world. But there is nothing quite so joyous as leaving the hustle and bustle of a superheated Third World hellhole and being greeted on the big BA jumbo by a homosexual with a cold flannel and a refreshing glass of champagne. Take that away from us and we may as well all be Belgian.

To read the original Times on line

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 Post subject: Re: BA Strike Dates
Post Number:#4  PostPosted: 21 Mar 2010 19:36 
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"Cyclopean Scot" eh?

This irrelevant and degrading reference to Gordon Brown's semi-blindness exposes Clarkson for what he is: an ignorant, intellectually limited playground bully.

I would like to point out that if he didn't work for this paper and was commenting about China in the same way 50% (at least) of his comments would not make it past the editor!

Since no news organization has reported the detail of what the issues between Willie Walsh and the Union are exactly, the dispute, like the seventies, has been cast as a class war between greedy lazy workers and misunderstood management trying to compete with cabin crew of other nations' airlines who are prepared to work for free.

JC believes he's an honorary Thatcherite with a licence to be right wing without being offensive and by clouding the issue with cheap jibes about unionization and everyone's supposed to find that funny. It isn't!

It's just ignorant and like most right wing view points, intellectually lazy. Spell out the issues and let's all make an intelligent assessment of who exactly is being reasonable on them. Management or crew. One who isn't, is JC.


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