British Airways Strike: Part Three.
An on-line members poll of 11,000 British Airways flight attendants is expected to vote for 4 waves of 5 day strikes each. This is happening with a hung parliament, which means that there is not likely to be any government intermediary to calm the two conflicting parties.
The original issue was about cutting staff on long haul flights. Management have now repealed this proposal. The issue now is the reinstatement of staff travel “perks”. Management has now allowed free travel, but only when staff are travelling to work. But senior staff lose their perk of priority for stand-by tickets.
Further, a senior union official has just been sacked for failing to turn up for duty. He was engaged on union business at the time. This used to be called victimisation; and has traditionally caused great anger amongst union members. Was there no agreed allowance for this union work?
The union tactic in this second strike seems to be firstly to hit peak travel in school half term: and secondly to double the length of the strike, and make it more difficult to find and keep temporary workers.
Who will win?
Management is suffering financial losses from volcano ash, from the first strike, and reputation loss from frustrated passengers. The Union might not receive the very high support in got in the previous ballot. Workers on low pay have already lost some pay. They are being asked to lose more. But the sacking of one union official, and the future possibility of other sackings may well increase the vote for a strike. Also the Unite Union is more supportive of it’s members than last time, when it was said that a 12 day strike was over the top!
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