Heroes of the air, or glorified bus drivers? British Airways management
was very careful not to say anything that could be interpreted as ‘union
bashing’ about BALPA’s decision to ground Britain’s ‘favourite’ airline
from 16 July. They took issue on a technicality that their improved
offer had not been put to the pilots since their decision to strike.
The union’s grievances started with pay and conditions, but later
included lower pay differentials for ex-Danair pilots, inferior pension
arrangements and removing bunk beds used for ‘in-flight kips’
(Independent on Sunday, 7 July).
Chris Darke of BALPA, described in the Daily Mail as a ‘time warp union
professional’ urged passengers to use other airlines as ‘our argument is
with BA managment, not passengers’ (Sunday Telegraph). But with pilots
being portrayed as ‘middle-class and overpaid’, passenger sympathy will
be hard to win. BA played its cards carefully, but customers who go
elsewhere may not return.
Evaluation and analysis by Carma International. Cuttings supplied by
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