Novelist. Author of APSARAS and tales from the beautiful Saigh Valley. First person to quantify spiritual values.

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Tuesday 18 May 2010

BA / Unite dispute

The industrial action mounted by the Unite union on behalf of its members is rididculous. It is a throwback to a time gone by when the UK was coming to terms with the inequalities thrown up in the wake of the industrial revolution. Since then the world has moved on and global trading and the emergence of a new industrial order has renedered strike action as not only redundant but downright destructive.
It is no surprise that union leaders are keen to perpetuate the practice because their own future is questionable. They like to flap their wings from time to time to remind the nation that they are still about despite the mauling they received from Mrs. Thatcher in the nineties. Personally, and remember I was once a branch secretary for the IPCS, a civil service union, I could never understand why an employee had a right to strike but an employer had no reciprocal right to withhold the job.

BA has 40,000 employees which represents a large community and like any community needs to operate on a system of rules that are mutually acceptable to the leaders and the led. Surely the first of the rules should be that nothing should be done to risk the existence of the community. If anyone, management or staff don't like the rules they are at liberty to leave. No one is forcing them to stay. If the Unite union think they know better than BA how to run an airline I think we ought to be told. If they don't they should let BA get on with it. I would go further and say that under law BA should be able to take the union to court for malfeasance.
This is not to say that workers in the UK would necessarily lose out, as the unions would have you think. There will be NO work without business, but for efficient operations a happy workforce is a good workforce and the compromise should be reached. To reach this compromise the concept of fairness, a necessarily subjective concept, should not be factored into the debate. What definitely shouldn't be allowed is strike action, guaranteed to produce only losers. Can't the workforce see that their company, their community will lose customers and market share resulting in lay-offs. They are like the Lemmings voting for the Lemming party and self destruction. I say again to all BA staff: if you don't like your terms of employment, Leave and let the others get on to make a success of the company in a very difficult market.

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