A Victory for BA ? I don’t think so !
The news today that Unite’s 12 days of Christmas strike of cabin crew at BA has been declared illegal in the court is being trumpeted as a victory for British Airways ( British Airways strike blocked by court ).
I suspect that it will be a hollow victory.
Unite have played a rather successful hand in this dispute so far. They managed to leak the video of the announcement of the ballot, showing delirious members celebrating a 90% plus vote in favour as though England had just won the world cup. Powerful stuff – it’s not easy to get that kind of a majority voting in favour of losing 12 days pay over the festive season.
I’m sure many people also got the sound bite from Unite that they were not asking BA to withdraw their proposals – just suspend them – a pause for peace – in other words to do the same as Royal Mail, avoid confrontation over the Christmas period, and give some space for negotiation. ( Macho management pushing British Airways to the brink ).
In other words, despite the obvious concern that Christmas holidays could be well and truly up the spout for thousands of people, they did a good PR job of persuading people that this was because of inept management by BA – preferring to confront rather than negotiate.
And what did BA do ? They challenged it in the court to stop the strike. A pyrrhic victory if ever there was one.
They could have achieved this by just saying “OK we’ll hang on a few weeks before implementing new conditions” – simple ! No loss of face, a slight delay, and no loss of custom over Christmas.
Instead they spend money on legal fees, postpone the strike, and the dispute rumbles on. There’ll be another ballot, and with the previous one with over 90% support you can bet your life it will be successful again.
Plus it makes the BA management look a bunch of plonkers
Plus it gives the Unite crews exactly what they wanted – maximum publicity, no need to strike for the time being, and no loss of pay over Christmas.
Makes you wonder if they knew there was a technical loophole in the strike ballot that BA could exploit in the first place !
Hmm !, we’ll never know.
In honesty I don’t have much idea what this strike’s about – but as a casual observer, whatever the rights and wrongs, BA need to sit down and do some talking, because no one wants strikes, no one wants to see BA suffer financially, and also : – Unite are running rings round you !