Unite arrives in Manchester this week – those of current BA cabin crew strike fame. Like many of you, I’m sure, I’ve heard a little of what’s going on. BA cabin crew are going to stop going to work for a bit until BA give them some more money – sorry, rights, workers rights. Basically, from what I can tell, they want some cheap tickets.
Like all good journalists, I decided to do some research – I read the BBC website for a bit, from where I garnered the following information:
- The dispute started in November when BA reduced the number of cabin crew on long haul flights from 15 to 14.
- BA have only taken away travel perks from those who took part in a previous walk out, in March.
- They are also pursuing disciplinary action with some of those who walked out.
- Average earnings of BA cabin crew is £29,900.
- Average earnings of Virgin Atlantic cabin crew is £14,400.
- In the twelve months to March this year, BA lost £531 million.
- £531 million is quite a lot of money, even to an airline.
As with any such high level dispute, finding an answer isn’t necessarily a simple thing. On the face of it, BA are in some trouble and are attempting to save a bit of money. Cabin crew, who seem to be bearing the brunt of this money saving initiative, aren’t particularly happy about it. They do, however, on the face of it, get a pretty decent deal within the industry.
Budget airlines have apparently, been taking a large chunk of BA business over the last few years, hence the need to implement permanent changes. I do see the need from the cabin crew to make a stand but if someone asked me where I was going to get £531 million from, I’d be hard pushed to come up with a better sounding idea than cutting crew from 15 to 14. Then again, I’m not the boss of an airline or the leader of a union. Thankfully.
Regular readers of this blog will know that my ‘research’ tends to take me to amusing videos or pictures which I, generously, have a habit of sharing with you. This time is no different – while I am unable to offer a firm, reasoned argument either for or against the strike, my friend here at ‘Powerful Peanuts’ has no such failings. He’s pretty sure of which side he’s on. (Warning – contains strong language and opinions some cabin crew may find offensive)