British Airways Strike: Part Two.
On the 12th February I attempted to understand how, and why, the union Unite lost its court case to allow a strike. Yesterday, the first of a number of projected strikes finished. This time there was no legal delays. Nearly half of BA’s flights did not fly over the weekend. Although BA does not accept Unite’s figures.
Unite’s union leader attended a meeting of strikers at Heathrow, where some hundreds of cabin crew booed when a BA flight took off. More strikes are possible from 14th April. Sympathetic unions in America and Europe have promised action in their own airports to support Unite.
Currently there is a standoff, with no new negotiations planned. Who will win this dispute? What would count as winning?
For BA winning would be a new flight of aircraft with lower fares, fewer cabin crew on lower wages; effectively competing with other low cost airlines. We have been here before with “GO”! Go was a previous BA low cost set of planes. It was deemed a success, but was sold off. So BA knows practically how to achieve this.
For Unite winning would be to stop the move to lower wages. Put differently, it wants to stop BA wage levels dropping to the level of other low cost carriers.
What is at risk here is BA’s reputation as the national carrier, traditionally paying more than the competition; especially to pilots. BA’s task here is very complex as there are a number of different unions involved; with much rivalry between them.
See my blog at: