I wonder what this chap would make of the British Airways strike

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7 Responses to I wonder what this chap would make of the British Airways strike

  1. James March 29, 2010 at 11:31 am #

    He’d be rolling in his grave at these overpaid bar staff complaining about their already admirable working conditions.

  2. David Connolly March 31, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    I agree completely James, with the first class reservation, that this chap may very well be alive at a chronological 80-90ish ? And rolling his eyes and shaking his head with justification of none being so blind as the economically illiterate and willfully blind. The commander bore a slight resemblance to Norman Tebbit, who was a BOAC operational B-707 captain at that time and had the same duty of care ethos as exhibited by Sgt. Major. His uncomplaining care of his disabled wife because of the heinous IRA criminal bombing of Brighton in 1984 is truly inspirational. I am Irish and those humanoids did nor do not represent me or my country. He never succumbed to PC and trod the forgiveness route to the benefit of the terrorists, they want forgiveness. No compromise Norman. BA CEO Willie Walsh exhibits equal clarity of no hostage-compromise. My intrepretation of Willie Walsh’s thinking, “Your Unite-d PERMANENT ID-90 travel forfeit V1 was your ridiculous strike decision for no good reason. This was communicated before your Unite-d fraudulent pre-Christmas strike ballot. So, I suggest that you consult bus, rail and ferry timetables with greater scrutiny and compare the equivalent cabin crew conditions on those means of conveyance.”
    Alas the muppets of Unite’s Kingdom, today’s BA, are caught in a Scargill time-warp, but are too dumb to see their Tony Woodley from the trees. QED !

  3. uk visa lawyer March 31, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    I can’t see him having a high opinion of Willie Walsh either!

  4. David Connolly April 2, 2010 at 2:03 am #

    Why ?…Cathy’s and BA’s ex-CEO was from
    Oz. They were of the same DNA. Operationally, a D/H decision height needs adherence. There are none so blind as those that will not see.

  5. uk visa lawyer April 5, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    David, you’ll have to excuse me as my expertise isn’t airlines but it strikes me that Willie is something of a one-trick-pony:
    he cut the workforce at Aer Lingus and repositioned it as a low-cost carrier,
    now, he’s doing the same at BA,
    Willie’s doing what he’s good at but that doesn’t make it right for BA,
    I think BA should have moved in the direction of quality when all the rest headed down market.

  6. David Connolly April 7, 2010 at 3:46 pm #

    Mr. Solicitor, no expertise necessary. You are a valued and concerned customer, that is what matters I think Willie is more than a one-trick-pony. Pardon the pun, but do you operate pro-bono, as in “no foal, no fee ?”. Sorry, I couldn’t resist, I worked as a solicitor’s clerk in London in 1986-87. Aer Lingus or sham rock is finally landing on planet real earth, being stuck between a rock and sham place, thanks to new CEO, ex-Sabena CEO Uberstandantenfuhrer Christoph Mueller. I met him on a flight from Dublin to Brussels last Sept 11 and asked what he saw in the brand. He said Lingus is a solid brand, I laughed and asked have you had more pints of Arthur in the B-Gates than I ?, (now 301-310) he laughed and mentioned Sabena, “run as a charity !”, he said. True, I said, “Lingus was run as a hobby more than a business and the state mentality is still prevalent, flags create far more induced drag than brands”. “Cutting or amputation ?” “Amputation and de-layering”, he replied. True to his word, after rejecting survival plan cutting, (accepted by it’s pilots after a 10% reality cut) ,last month all pursers=Cabin Service Directors in BA were jettisoned and all remaining cabin crew fired and rehired immediately at the end of March on Mueller’s terms after getting statutory redundancy from the Irish taxpayer. Actually a win/win really, somewhat Machiavellian in execution, as Herr Mueller stated after initial rejection, “There will be no re-ballot !”. And nobody is in a mood for a strike currently.
    To BA : it’s dynamic revenue is vastly inferior to it’s static cost base, as a pilot, like myself, Willie recognizes that an aircraft is a conveyance that must support itself aerodynamically and economically, simultaneously. Making a CSD a working member on long haul and thereby reducing the cabin crew compliment from 15 to 14 is logical. This is not a negotiation issue, but an executable decision, that is the fiduciary duty of a CEO to execute rational decisions in the interests of staff, ironic as it sounds, customers. Namely you, and possibly you as a shareholder and stakeholder suppliers. Of course Tony Scargill Woodley of Unite’s BA kingdom can but will not see the Woodley from the trees. This is nothing more than a fig leaf to hide the real issue. That is, who decides BA’s operational strategy ?…the CEO via the board or the staff. Staff consultation on the strategic macro, yes ! absolutely, but tactical micro matters need to be executed without paralysis of analysis. In the current great bleeding red ink economic war in general and aviation’s cost/revenue cyclical war in particular, now is not the time to complain about the texture and mud lining of the trenches of the entrenched vested interests.
    Many years ago, I used to be a member of a Eurocontrol union in Brussels, Union Syndicale, or SCynicale as I later called it. For staff interests, it was as useful as a Harley Davidson ashtray, maybe less, perhaps because it was so dependent on staff members contributions of avoiding, at all costs revenue disruption, ironically. I am now more instinctively skeptical of union motives in all cases, perhaps a convert is the greatest zealot ?, guilty if accused !. A lawyer is demonstrably far more effective in individual dispute resolution. It has been shown thus, particularly in Ryanair. I think that was a contributing factor in installing revolving doors in Dublin’s High Court. Google Capt. John Goss vs Ryanair for reference, quite a learned road, to be sure. All-out strikes are a means to shoot oneself in both feet with one bullet. Look at consolidated in ever decreasing circles Unite. Why were so many unions consolidated in one Unite ?
    I work with Air China, not to be confused with China Airlines, callsign Dynasty of Taiwan, very politically incorrect, if economically correct. If people don’t want to work, they don’t get paid, illness is ok. The CEO is on an average CPC party salary. Other Asian carriers are equally modest in a duty of service without selfishness. CA is a Star Alliance member since Dec 2007. I always say, as members, they are no star SIA, but luckily no star UAL either. With CA, You, the customer, are first, front and centre without nickel and diming RMB charges in any class category. The security gauntlet is enough pax stress. However there are many benefits in kind, off the balance sheet. It has, like other Asian carriers such as SIA,(Slight turbulent relationship KAL/OZ, Cathay-(Periodic Ex-pat pilot revolt of perceived threat of vested interests)Thai, ANA even JAL in Japanese Chapter 11, have a service mentality of looking outwards. European in general and US in particular, management cutting costs, and cashing then inflated share price for productivity gain, devaluing the company share price, and unionized staff protecting vested interests, the hapless pax is in the middle seat being squeezed further $5 for a glass of wine etc. as the brand is corroded and devalued further. Cause ? mutual SUV mentality. I was type-rated on the B-744 via Northwest, now Delta(don’t ever leave the airport)NATCO in Minneapolis in 200. Good flight crew procedures, atrocious pax service. QED ! …The managerial “flogging shall continue, until morale improves”, seems an exclusive US modus operandi, in quarantine, hopefully.
    It strikes me that Willie was trying to avoid strikes and is trying to preserve BA as a full service carrier of the UniteD Kingdom. He walks his talk as captain of the good ship BA. After Hellrow Shiteport’s T5 debacle opening in March 2008, he voluntarily surrendered his 700K bonus for his pax’s inconvenience, despite BA’s then record profits. Today’s economic oscillations are at least not PIOs’ or pilot induced oscillations. That duty of caring more than less has not been replicated in any other part of the corporate body of UK PLC. Who would you rather represent your customer, shareholder, stakeholder’s interest ? Willie, current CEO of BA or Fred “The Shred” Goodwin ex-CEO of RBS as in Recked Bank of Scotland ?
    I think the NCO Sgt. Major of 1969 would have fallen in behind CO Capt. Walsh and the rest of the troops and pushed forward to ensuring brand quality and customer care regardless of the prevailing headwinds. This is the only way in a global brand market, not flag cartel, to preserve and improve existing staff terms and conditions. To paraphrase the humourless Margaret Thatcher in the hustings season, “There is no alternative, we are where wwe are. Every public service provider in a dominant position of provision through historical state legacy, needs a Willie to screw the vested interests” QED, PDQ !

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