Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Fry The Flag.

Jeez, what is it with BA? Did Willie Walsh do something really evil in a previous life or something? Or is Unite so determined to get its way (for the members of course, brothers and sisters) that actual destruction of the airline as a going concern is acceptable? I ask only because the fucking maniacs are going to go on strike again, and this time they intend to fuck up everybody who'll be relying on flying BA to spend Christmas with family.
British Airways passengers are facing the threat of a wave of fresh strikes at Christmas as union hardliners moved to escalate the long-running cabin crew dispute.
I'm sure all the extra time they'll get to spend getting wasted and playing naked Twister won't have crossed their minds, though if that was the main reason it'd actually make more sense than this lunacy.
A row over allegations of bullying during the 22 days of strikes earlier in the year is threatening to derail peace talks between the airline and the trade union, Unite.
It has led to the suspension of more than 80 BA cabin crew. Another 13 have been sacked during the bitter dispute which has cost the airline an estimated £150 million this year.
£150 million, got that? And remember that BA's been losing money hand over fist anyway - £164 million in the three months to June alone, partly because some weathermen insisted that Gordon Brown close down the sky, and in the year before that more than half a billion pounds.
The disciplinary action and the withdrawal of the travel perk from those who took part in the strikes earlier in the year have emerged as the sticking points preventing a deal being reached.
In an email to 12,000 Unite members Tony Woodley, the union’s joint general secretary, warned that a fresh strike ballot was an option.
But while Mr Woodley is understood to be reluctant to call a ballot immediately, he faces pressure to do so from the cabin crew branch - the British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (BASSA).
Just goes to show that it's not always the madmen in charge of the unions who seem to have a kamikaze fixation on beating the company fat cats at the cost of their members jobs, the wages that those jobs bring in, and the portion of those wages that go to the unions in subscriptions. I wonder if Woodley has a matador's eye view of the wounds the BA bull is carrying - not all inflicted by the union, it must be said - and has realised that the crowd's demands to inflict more will eventually lead to him and them having to go home forever.
Duncan Holley, BASSA's branch secretary said: “We are looking for the green light for a strike ballot next week, which would encompass the Christmas period and there is every likelihood we will be out then.
“It would be prudent for the travelling public to take this into account and make alternative arrangements to ensure their holiday travel plans are not wrecked."
Thanks for the heads up, Duncs, though being both sane and having had the delights of flying BA and being treated by some of your members as if we passengers were an obstruction to the running of their aircraft, I'd always plan not to fly BA anyway. However, I'm sure that what remains of your regular customers are very grateful for the advance warning to find another carrier, and maybe some of them will be stupid enough to go back to you once the strike is over. Oh, and can I just mention at this point that you're a cunt?
“What we are trying to do is give people plenty of notice this time round. We are also trying to put pressure on BA by hitting their bookings during one of the busiest times of the year."
This would be the BA that has lost £695 million at the last count, so taking a guesstimate that the last couple of months have been much the same probably in the region of three quarters of a fucking billion pounds in about 18 months. You're putting pressure on its fucking windpipe, Duncan.
A BA spokesman said: “Mercy, please, have mercy.”
Sorry, no he didn't really, and since the union seems determined to destroy the company anyway it probably would have been a waste of breath if he had. Actually, the spokesman (my emphasis)...
... defended the airline’s handling of the dispute.
“We remain available for talks and believe that we have made a good and fair offer to cabin crew. Non-union cabin crew have signed up for the deal in large numbers.”
Possibly he would say that anyway, but perhaps some of the non-union staff have a more realistic outlook and recognise that bankrupting the company just means everyone is out of work.

Do I really care about this? To be honest, no. As I said briefly above and at greater length a few weeks back I found nothing to recommend about either of my experiences with flying BA, and those were just short haul trips in western Europe. The thought of flying from here back to the UK would be enough to make me think of getting off the plane while it's airborne, so better not to book with them in the first place.* Frankly it might be better to let the union win and allow BA to go to the wall. I mean, does a country really need a 'national carrier' anyway, especially one that keeps striking? It might have been
a source of some national pride while it still operated the fastest, and for my money, the most stunning looking aircraft ever made** but without that it's just a collection of Boeings and Airbuses that sometimes can't fly because the cabin crew refuse to come in. Letting BA die would be a wake up call to everyone else who thinks it sensible to demand more and more from a company that is less and less able to afford it, and while the maniacs who played brinkmanship and won will probably be left scratching their heads and blaming everyone else the good staff will find other work. And Unite will be able to claim the fullest and most final victory any union has ever scored over an employer - let's see 'em come back from that one, eh, brothers and sist...

... er ... hello? Brothers? Anyone there?

* For what it's worth my first choice for Oz-UK flights would be Singapore, closely followed by Malaysia. Qantas are pretty good too but since they code share with BA, or so I believe, you run the risk of being greeted not by tanned Aussie blondes who are all smiles and chattiness and might be amenable to some light sex in the toilets if you're Ralph Fiennes, but by the over made up, vinegar-faced women with Croydon facelifts that were on my last flight with BA who seemed far more likely to say 'fuck you' than fuck you, no matter who you are. There are no doubt some great cabin crew in BA but not on those two flights. No, I didn't complain. It was expensed and I felt it far easier to fly with anyone but BA when spending my own money.
** Some of which are now treated like shit, incidentally.


Anonymous said...

Once a labour junta gets booted out the trouble starts ,
Their mistake ?
These are not miners or dockers.
Are they.

Gordon the Fence Post Tortoise said...

Well, they've lost my luggage (3 times), cheated me (2 times), lied (lost count)and subjected me to years of politically correct authoritarian hectoring via their PA, PR and publications -so much so- that I have scant sympathy for the state of the company.

I have had good experiences - but it would appear from what BA employees of my acquaintance tell me that these have been as a result of individual initiative in not treating people as they have been trained to.

BA management have been absolutely fucking woeful - so much so in fact that I think they've pushed the workforce into a Jim Jones People's Temple frame of mind. Cabin crew are bonkers anyway - BA has it's own extensive psychiatric department! The way they've been buggered* around is epic. They can't see how well off they are 'cos they've got their heads on backwards :-)

Which unfortunately the cunts at Unite are only too happy to exploit.

On balance I think it could be turned around - but they are going to have to start behaving in a civil fashion towards their employees and sacking some of the dreadful turds they've got in middle management.

*no, I don't mean like that.

Happy walker said...

nice blog.. have a view of my blog when free.. .. do leave me some comment / guide if can.. if interested can follow my blog...

Angry Exile said...

@ Anon, no but BA was once nationalised and Unite was the merger between TGWU and what was the electricians and a bunch of other unions before they became Amicus. Lots of history with industry and nationalised companies among that lot. Coincidence that they're happy to put BA through the this?

@ Gordon, yes, BA management have their share of blame. Lucky you for having some good flights with them, though.

@ Mr Lonely. Well, mate, if you happen to come back and read this I'm not in the guide trade, but making relevant comments to the blog post, even if they're not serious comments, would be my suggestion. And why put the URL to your blog in your comment when anyone who's interested can find your it through your profile? A related post I could understand, but the actual blog isn't necessary. My 2¢.

Related Posts with Thumbnails