Posts Tagged 'Unite'

British Airways strike sanctioned by Court of Appeal

Commiserations to British Airways passengers, pilots, engineers, ground staff and management.  The airline will now be held to ransom by cabin crew members of the Unite union after three Court of Appeal judges voted 2-1 to interpret the legal requirements for communicating ballot results more loosely.  That’s the way things go in a country where the law is made up by judges as they go along, despite statute being Parliament’s responsibility.

The future of BA is now in the balance.  It needs to reduce costs and is trying to restructure the business to enable it to compete in a challenging sector.  But a number of the airline’s cabin crew are being manipulated by Unite for political reasons.  What this means is that instead of reducing its excessive cost base, British Airways will now be hit with greatly reduced revenues and loss of customer confidence.  One wonders, if Unite continues its nonsensical action and harms BA sufficiently, who will they blame when the airline is forced into a more severe downsizing, or even into bankruptcy? 

While employees in other industries accept with a heavy heart reductions in pay, benefits and headcount because of the current economic conditions, Unite’s band of cabin crew comrades continue to hark back to a bygone age where the airline could still operate while paying an excess number of people some of the highest wages in the industry.  Those days are long gone.  But Unite would rather kill the goose that lays the eggs, rather than accept fewer eggs from it.  What the flag waving dinosaurs above seem not to grasp is that their actions could eventually result in them spending all their time standing around doing nothing.

Unite is trying to pass the buck for its failings

Unite’s joint general secretary, Tony Woodley, is going to great lengths to create a smokescreen around his union’s failings in the communication of the strike ballot of British Airways cabin crew.  Unite believes the court’s decision to block the British Airways strike on a technicality is ‘an absolute disgrace’ and is appealing the ruling. But Unite only has itself to blame and Tony Woodley’s whinging in the media shouldn’t cut any ice with anyone.

Describing Unite’s error as a technicality is an attempt to downplay the union’s lack of attention to observing the legal requirements after the ballot.  The fact is the union failed to follow the requirements about communication of the result to the letter of the law.  Woodley is complaining that only 11 ballot papers had been spoilt.  But that is immaterial.  Unite’s legal obligations were clear and it failed to observe them.  That is why it is fatuous of Woodley to say the Court’s decision:

‘brings into question whether we have the right to strike in this country, which is a fundamental human right’

Utter nonsense.  What the Court’s decision does it old the unions to observing the requirements of the ballot process.  It doesn’t prevent people who feel their employer is behaving unreasonably from withdrawing their labour in a lawful manner.  If Unite had followed the process correctly, the British Airways strike by cabin crew would be happening today, legally.

Unite is also trying to play the underdog card in trying to excuse its error, describing itself as a mere voluntary organisation.  Yet this is a trade union that has the resources to plough millions of pounds into Labour Party coffers each year, fund lavish salary and benefits packages for its top tier of officials and employ lawyers to look after the interests of the union and its members.  If this is an underdog it is the size of a mastiff and has the ferocity of a rabid rottweiler.

The Court of Appeal should throw out Unite’s appeal on this matter and make them ballot its members again, observing all the legal requirements of such a course of action.  If Unite does its job properly, they will give no reason to British Airways to go to Court again to seek an injunction.  In the meantime, Woodley and his comrades should put an end to their hysterical overreaction and make they fulfil their responsibilities correctly.

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British Airways strike blocked after Unite union incompetence

Despite all those highly paid Unite union officials and their legal teams, the union is incapable of following the letter of the law when running and announcing a ballot on strike action.  Last time it was Unite balloting people they had no right to that saw the Courts rule to block the strike.  This time it appears a failure to follow the legal process correctly by not including the 11 spoiled ballot papers in the figures given for and against industrial action, sees the strike blocked by another injunction.

No doubt Unite’s brainless, militant and destructive shop stewards and officials at British Airways will try again to conduct a legal ballot.  They are determined to have their war with BA and risk inflicting losses on the airline that could see it forced to cut back even further.  This senseless union posturing will only harm the prospects of the airline and threaten the livelihoods of more BA staff than originally planned.

Every attempt by Unite to bring the airline to its knees and bow to union demands rather than commercial reality results in more passengers booking with other airlines to avoid possible disruption.  This will harm long term revenue and only an idiot would seek to undermine the longevity of their employer and improve the position of their competitors.  The pilots and engineers made agreements with British Airways in a realistic manner.  Unite is refusing to do the same because it is run by unrealistic, self interested officials who will still have a job when cabin crew numbers are cut due to reduced demand from passengers.

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