May 21st, 2010

Will They Break BA?

British Airways have reported a staggering £531 million loss this morning. Grounded by volcanoes and union thugs, things aren’t going too well for the old flag carrier. Add all that to the £400 odd million loss last year. Whelan and co at Unite the Union are still determined to push things further.

Despite being paid way above the industry average, BA cabin crew, fired up by Derek Simpson and Tony Woodly’s egos, are set for a crippling fifteen days of strike action. Though BA apparently have some £1.7 billion in the bank, they are set to be hit by a further £100 million loss from the ash and the industrial dispute looks like it will rattle on. You would be mad to book a BA flight in advance this summer – Will Unite be happy when they bring the company to its knees and end up far from well paid, but in fact at the back of the dole queue?


  1. 1
    Longbow says:

    Is Dave a Tory?


    • 3
      Nick2 says:

      It’s a classic union/management stand off, and the union appear to have picked a high profile fight with one of the one of the largest firms.

      Whatever happens, I suspect that BA is doomed to either fail or be taken over once weakened. Go long!


      • 15

        It appears that the union are determined to make Easyjet our national carrier. Even Aeroflot were better. True socialism at work bruvvers and sisters, bumper grain harvests predicted.


        • 56

          he is one mad irishman – willie walsh that is


          • Gulliver says:

            Nope not mad… determined, tenacious, strong-willed or even righteous perhaps. Anyone who has ever had a run in with the Irish should know by now that they never ever walk away from a fight. Knock them down and they get straight back up again and carry on as though nothing happened. Unite really were daft if they thought they could bully WW into submission.

            As to the cabin crew, even after the latest offer their package is still better than the industry standard. Isn’t it about time they woke up and got back to work before they do even more damage to the company.

            If Unite wins this fight, it will send out a hugely positive message to all those Civil Service TUs who are currently limbering up to challenge George’s cuts (isn’t he Irish too?).

            Best thing is for everyone is to get behind Willie otherwise we might as well buy a one-way flight back to 1973 Britain.


        • 105
          Bottom Line says:

          You fuck up your profit margin then the buck stops at the CEO.
          The world is littered with failures full of excuses.


        • 118
          Henry Crun says:

          Is Simpson staying at the Savoy or the Ritz Carlton while negotiating with BA?


          • vivalarevolution says:

            I believe it will be his usual suite in the Dorchester.

            Nothing’s too good for the workers. innit


          • Bobfoc says:

            Simson makes 89 grand a year basic and lives in 800k grace and favour mansion in Herts. he gets a company car and 40k stipend to maintain the grace and fave mansion in addition to salary.

            Some piggies are more equal than others.

            BA staff are nuts. Let it go to the wall and Branson’s ladies on reasonable pay can take over.


        • 128
          Anonymous says:

          So there’ll be an “Easyjet” by the end of the year?

          “One possibility which has been mooted is that the airline relinquishes the “easy” brand, thereby avoiding future conflict in this context. That would have the added virtue of allowing the carrier to cultivate its own brand, independent of its founder.”


        • 213
          Reality approaches says:


          Do not think you can ever have flown on Aeroflot internationally, let alone internally in the old USSR.


      • 19
        Road_Hog says:

        Interesting listening to Lord Tebbit on the radio this morning. Now he’s not one to take the side of the union/workers normally but he had some interesting comments. He picked up on Willie Walsh saying that if it was just the unions then he could do a deal but it was group of his employees that was causing the problem. Tebbit queried what an earth he could have done to annoy them that much, his suggestion was that Walsh was at fault and he’d created the problem for himself.

        He also said that he felt Walsh was causing more trouble for himself by taking the strike action to court on a technicality (apparently they didn’t list that 11 ballot papers had been spoilt) when it was obvious that the technicality in no way affected the outcome of the vote.


      • 95
        Anonymous says:

        Whilst I do not condone the unions actions, Willie Walsh has run BA into the ground. His hard nosed focus on profit profit profit at the expense of customer service has seen a backlash around the world. BA’s reputation for engineering excellence is unsurpassed – its reputation for mean spirited and arrogant customer service is well deserved. I would like to see Walsh go – he is a dinosaur unable to reach compromise and determined to break the union. Sadly the union is also a dinosaur and determined to break BA. It will be a sad end for BA that its employees and customers do not deserve but which it largely broygh upon itself


        • 159
          Postlethwaite says:

          Maybe Mandleson could sort this out.
          He has a knack for this sort of thing



      • 238
        BOHICA (Bend Over, Here It Comes Again) says:


        BA must have the most benighted, stupidest, witless senior management team in Britain today, to have gone down this route over what are now such trivial issues. Considering the average IQ points of other British institutions (such as the Post Office and Transport for London), this is quite a staggering achievement.

        Over the years it has been like watching the captain of the Titanic deliberately drive into the iceberg, just to teach the stokers a lesson on who is in charge. The answer on a postcard is the Iceberg. BA have pulled some incredible decisions out of the hat, such as our national flag-carrier replacing our flag with strange designs. Or what about the time, money and effort devoted to stopping one idiot christian from wearing a tiny cross (& I’m an atheist, by the way). If there is anything they can do to wreck their own company, you can guarantee they will find the means to do it. Its a wonder they didn’t seek to change their name to Carriageia or Flightia or something. I suspect any correct decisions they may have accidentally made along the way were made deliberately counter-productive in the way they carried them out.

        As much fun as it is to curse British Unions, we should always remember that the other side of the coin is British Management in all its traditional glory. I don’t think many of us are especially in love with them either, from personal experience. Remember all the times Senior Managers and their HR Henchpersons have inexplicably come up with new and interesting ways of saying Get Lost. I am sure that the majority of times still leave us scratching our heads in incomprehension.

        My advice would be for BA to seal the deal as quickly as possible, and leave the union with some crumbs of honourable comfort. After all, both sides will have to work together tomorrow if they are both to survive. Instead, the BA team have done their damnedest to make things as worse as they possibly can. Did they really think that blocking the first strike and make everyone re-vote would change the outcome? Or perhaps suspend the re-voted strike on the most pointless technicality they could find would improve relations? As a long-term strategy, continuously annoying and pissing-off their own workforce is unsound in the extreme. It makes people bloody-minded and more determined. It pits one side against another in a life or death struggle. Maybe they should carry the process to its logical conclusion and get the Chairman Of the Board to individually and personally poke every employee in the eye. Maybe they think that the sun will shine, birds will sing, and their employees will suddenly burst into laughter and song.

        The management of BA are Monumental Idiots who consistently provoke the very thing they say they are seeking to avoid. Do this too many times and one might suspect a slight outbreak of Union-Busting. Push this behaviour too far and their will be absenteeism, sick-leave, disciplinaries, grievances, departing staff, and wild-cat strikes. My medical prognosis is that keep smoking and you end up dead.

        I would advise everyone to switch to Virgin, at least for the immediate future. They are most likely to become our next Cool Britannia flag-carrier at the rate we are going. Most likely BA will soon be no more than a few footnotes in British History, maybe the odd James May documentary for the Open University on BBC. BA managers will have no-one to blame but themselves, but they will award themselves a huge pension and blame everyone else (just like so many others). It will be passenger demographics, volcanoes, trade unions, and the wrong kind of leaves on the line. Its just an excuse for institutional incompetence and an inability to overcome changing circumstances with the passage of time.

        They will add to a long and illustrious list of other British companies such as British Leyland, British Steel, British Coal. My personal belief is the only companies that succeed in Britain are Japanese and German ones. They do their best to work their problems out fairly and openly. They also employ the best managers that know what they are doing and can come up with interesting ideas. Its either that or the Americans move the whole operation somewhere else and side-step our decades-long industrial diseases altogether.

        I know that these viewpoints are unlikely to be popular at the moment, but I feel this industrial dispute has been very badly mishandled. I also feel that it is a hangover from the Labour days of Peter Mandelson’s devising. After disaster has struck, we may begin to discover things that were withheld from us, such as with the Banking Meltdown. At any rate, both sides should be co-operating and I don’t think that Managements bullish attitude is financially or ethically justified in the current climate. I also think it is out of step with the new political consensus of co-operation and pulling together in the face of a common danger.


        • 254
          Anonymouse says:

          What people have to realise is that BASSA “ran” BA for years. Nothing moved without the “shop stewards” approval.
          The reality is that they have been the “management” in BA for years. It is that attitude that WW is trying to break.


        • 269
          David B says:

          Popular view with me.


    • 7
      Big Ted says:

      If the dolly birds want to strike let them, was pretty retarded blocking it over 11 spoiled ballots.

      When they lose their jobs and realise they will not get another unless its escorting they will have plenty of time to regret it.


    • 24
      PM says:

      Derek Simpson squats in an £800K grace-and-favour home (for life) and rakes in approx. £200K pa. Meanwhile, Unite members earn approx. £20K pa.

      Nuff said.


      • 198
        unablogger says:

        Don’t forget his pet numpty, Woodley, both getting paid (note NOT earning) in excess of £100k. Woodley only likes to get his face on TV, as long as he does that he’s okay other than that he does fuck all else for Unite’s members. Simpson and Woodley the Morecombe and Wise of the trades union, you are history men, if I was Walsh I’d shut the lot down and put the lot of them on the dole.


    • 29
      Replace the Militants says:

      It’s not all BA cabin crew though is it? BA have some very militant staff among their numbers who seem to think that the world owes them a living, a very good living. Walsh needs to break this motley crew and replace them with people of the right stuff, there are plenty out there who would jump at the chance of working for and flying the flag.


      • 98
        TrustyShield says:

        It was very interesting listen to LBC radio in London last night. A German spoke about how their unions strive for productivity and when they surpass targets they go to the management and demand compensation for good work done. If a union individual is not pulling their weight and is holding back performance that will benefit the union members, the union go to the management and demand the slacker gets sacked or moved.

        German unions understand economics and work with the company to get the best deal for their members and ensure the employer thrives.

        Unite and Charlie Whelan believe the government IS the economy and it does not matter if the company does not have the cash or growth to further indulge already overcompensated staff as the government will bail out British Airways if they go bust anyway.

        Charlie Whelan is playing a dangerous game with CamerClegg as he could end up as Scargill was to Thatcher with Unite emasculated.


        • 133
          bergen says:

          And ironically the modern German trades union movement was set up after the war with the guidance of the British TUC.


        • 161

          That was Ted Heath’s bright idea. Constructive relations with the unions to match the productivity of west Germany. Management and workers in harmony, restoring the fortunes of Britain and greater prosperity for all.

          They kicked his teeth in.


    • 71
      Ian E says:

      Is Dave a Tory?

      Well, I wish he were hisTory!


      • 103
        Anonymous says:

        Companies with British as part of their name behave as if they still had a monopoly. They treat their customers with contempt and more often than not provide a second rate service while charging 1st class prices. Strike or no strike I would never use BA again.


        • 204
          Yorkie Barred says:

          Spot on. Staff who do not recognise the realities of the world don’t deserve to be supported by our trade. I won’t ever be using BA again either.

          If we all do that, they’ll get the hard message (OK, BA will go under, but no gain without pain) then all the other bolshie self-centred slackers might also get the message and work to save their jobs and companies rather than ruin them


        • 247
          Unite is in charge now says:

          Last time i priced BA was to fly to Stockholm. BA £600.00, Ryanair £60.00 No Brainer really


      • 202
        unablogger says:

        Bit like Labour then


  2. 2
    avseer says:

    The behaviour of some of the striking workers outside that court told the story! If these people are paid more than others then they need to be brought down a peg or two!
    Clearly they must be earning too much if they can afford to strike for so long! Striking workers lose the right to pension for those days, holiday, and pay. So I ask you, what’s the end game?


    • 14
      Lizzie says:

      End game….striking cabin crew lose their jobs, BA train new crew.


      • 22
        avseer says:

        If that keeps a great British company on the straight and narrow, I doubt I’ll lose sleep over it. It shows something when it is simply Heathrow staff not Gatwick involved.


        • 38
          MI5 says:

          Heathrow has always been a hotbed of Militant/Trot operators

          Covering massive theft by ground staff as well…

          And, as you say, nothing at Gatwick (because a more recent airport)


          • Anonymous says:

            Not known as “Thiefrow” without good reason.


          • Sir William Waad says:

            They don’t call it ‘Thiefrow’ for nothing.

            Nobody would ever fly from or to Heathrow if they had a choice. It’s a vast shabby suburban shopping mall with an airport tacked on. Cancelling the additional runway is the right decision for that reason alone.


          • Tattooed_Arry says:

            Flying back from the States, some of my relatives were shocked at the Ethnic makeup of workers at “Thiefrow”.
            They said it was more like Calcutta than “London Airport”.
            Is there a ban on white workers there?


          • Do as I do. Fly through Schipol. It adds around 45 minutes to any journey (about half the time it takes Sundeep to throw my luggage around Heathrow after removing anything of value)


          • The Yorkshire Ripper says:



          • Anonymous says:

            Fine OH – done it myself a lot, with feed from UK regional airports. Just don’t take hold luggage !


    • 78
      Engineer says:

      Somewhat surreal hearing a bunch of placard-waving protestors chanting “willy out”. I know all sorts of things are alledged to happen in-flight (mile high club, and all that), but surely they are not really helping their case by being so brazen about it?


      • 177
        Snotrocket says:

        Bloody hell, Engineer!! You’ve just planted a horrible image in my brain of a load of gay cabin ‘directors’ mincing around shouting ‘Willy out, get yer willy out!’.

        Just too much. I shall need to do a serious schmoo of memory to get it out!


    • 110
      Stan Butler says:

      Pension fund is some £3.7Bn in deficit. If BA is losing income hand over fist, how can it pay off the deficit? Answer, it can’t. These strikers are a bunch of pricks. BA will go the way of BL and all the other monoliths of the past who gave the leftists too much. Walsh, grow a pair and the sack the lot. I’d rather be tended to by a nice pleasant Latvian, Polish or Lithuanian girl than a boot face tuppence licker or shaven headed thumper which currently seem to form the majority of cabin staff at BA.


      • 187
        Conspiracy Theory. says:

        Jesus wept – they are only glorified waiters FFS!


        • 237

          What do you mean glorified?

          they ARE waiters with none of the customer service skills


          • Stan Butler says:

            They are waiters on £40K min a fucking year and all the free flights they can handle. It makes me laugh when you get on a flight and the announcement from the head waiter/tress states that the ‘cabin crew are here primarily for your safety’. No they are not. They are there primarily to bring food and drinks to passengers, start and stop the video and to open and close the doors. Mmmm. Skilled Engineer – £35K. Skilled Nurse – £30K. Marxist flying waiter – £40K. Something wrong here.


      • 263
        CorruptionCentral (gone for good!) says:

        So you are suggesting BA should not hold up its contractual arrangements?

        If they shaft their own staff, persumably they will be more than happy to stuff customers, and god help any 3rd party contractors.


  3. 4
    Bomb BA share price says:

    While the unite union are running around causing grief for BA its share price is collapsing, These are the lovely shares the BA staff are allowed in options and cheap stock purchase, so these dumb flight attendants are to thick to realise the value of their holding free falls. Meanwhile the union leaders are collecting their film star wages and perks.
    Come on guys n’ gals look whats going on outside in the real world, how about taking a pay cut then and working for Virgin Airways if you can find a job that is.


  4. 5
    Lizzie says:

    Back to the eighties it seems with the unions who have been flexing their muscles under a Labour government. BA will get rid of the troublesome cabin crew and move on I think. We should all remember what happened to the miners, BA cabin crew need to wake up and smell the money!


    • 28
      Big Ted says:

      We need to remember what happens to the miners?

      Erm yeah, the British coal mining industry disappeared, hardly bodes well for BA.


    • 33
      Rascal Puff says:

      No one gives a fuck about BA and the union. Plenty of other airlines to fill the void. Remember it is a global market.


    • 158
      Fidel X Penses says:

      True, Mr. Puff. But BA has many of the most profitable routes and on those alternative carriers aren’t always easy to find. I have to fly on those routes a lot and I would love to have a choice other than BA, but often there isn’t one.

      Still, there should be no shortage of buyers for the remains of the airline when Walsh and UNITE have finished their pissing contest.


      • 207
        Yorkie Barred says:

        But once BA fails, all those routes and slots will become available for proper airlines, with proper staff, to provide proper customer service.

        I don’t give a toss whose label is on the tail-fin, I just want a safe, good-value, reliable flight – if BA can’t provide that, then Bye Bye BA.


  5. 6
    wee willi walsh says:

    What business is it of yours, paddi-hindi boy?


  6. 8
    avseer says:

    Just an aside, I do not think that Derek Simpson was too impressed with the celebrating workers at all. I don’t believe he’s as militant as Tony Woodley, who as you’ve reported in the past, is far too hardline.


    • 68
      johnny says says:

      And held up negotiations with BA by being in Cuba.


    • 248
      Unite is in charge now says:

      Simpson sounds just like the Union parasites of the 70s. It is all the fault of the management opressing the poor undervalued working class slaves.


  7. 9
    A Woman in denial says:

    Jacqui smith, It’s everyone elses fault.

    Just give the money back Jacqui.


    • 41
      Spank Sinatra says:

      Interesting viewing – especially her comment that running her constituency office was a ‘family business’. Indeed it was! We, the taxpayer as represented by the electorate of Redditch, were the shareholders and did not enjoy the way that particular business was being run which is why she was fired.


    • 102
      @Duke_of_Monton says:

      “For Richard to have to literally stay in the house with the curtains drawn for weeks on end because he didn’t want to go out and be yelled at by the press, it was hard and I don’t see why he should have to put up with it. ”

      “Curtains drawn”- “it was hard”… how does she know? Was she there watching the movies with him????


      • 262
        Jonathan says:

        Well Jacqui, as they say in the Navy: ” If you can’t take a joke, you shouldn’t have joined”.


    • 148
      Nick2 says:

      A BBC Online editor once told me that news articles without a byline were ‘news’, whereas articles with one were ‘opinion’.

      Since the Smith article is credited to one Katie Townsend then it must be opinion.

      Why is the BBC publishing opinion pieces on disgraced ex-cabinet Ministers?

      Time for a BBC B R E A K U P methinks…


  8. 10
    English John says:

    ‘Will Unite be happy when they bring the company to its knees and end up far from well paid, but in fact at the back of the dole queue?’
    Isn’t this what the communist backed unions have always done. It was Scargill’s stupid tactics of calling a strike in the spring when energy consumption goes down. The shipyards and most heavy industry was brought down byy the unions unrealistic demands. The only thing that the soviets did right was to pack of the bastards to the gulags.


    • 88
      stilyagi_air_corps says:

      The Trotskyites prefer to call them ‘Provisional Demands’. Well worth a google.


      • 169
        no longer anonymous says:

        Indeed, the whole idea is to make absurd demands so as to bring about the collapse of capitalism. What actually happens is innocent (as well as guilty) people lose their jobs.


  9. 11
    Genghiz the kahn says:

    Looks as if Woodley and Unite have taken the 1960s Clydeside shipyards as a role model, strike, strike and strike again over some obscure perceived grievance, and in time eventually destroy the company and the jobs of their members.

    Unite are really a bunch of clueless Hunts, who are fighting yesterday’s battles, to destroy jobs, incomes and prospects.


  10. 12
    Cassandrina says:

    Listening to Woodly on the Toady Programme this morning with that Marxist James Naughty, was like going back to the 60’s for me.
    When “negotiating” with the unions in my younger days the crap Woodly came out of reminded me of the factory shop stewards hyperbole in my time.
    To get any reason I had to move further up the union chain of command, and it was usually all resolved within 3 days.
    Now we have the so-called leaders of unions like Unite acting as I remember shop stewards.
    So who is really behind Unite and its bid to break BA?


  11. 12
    Angie Merkel says:

    How are the bankster thugs doing, lardboy?


  12. 16
    Have a Cup of Coffee FFS Guido says:

    You are an intelligent person Guido but you have totally misread this situation.
    The cost of settling with the unions would be less than 50 million pounds which begs the question: what sort of a crazy businessman would lose over 100 million pounds to save 50 million?
    The chairman of BA is clearly a cretin who has personalised a business decision and who is driven by dogmatic ideology, a bit like your post really.
    His ego is losing the airline millions and millions of pounds and he should be sacked for his incompetence which is bankrupting British Airways.


    • 31


      Feed a begging dog once and it will come back for more. Pretty soon it’s moved in, sits on your favourite chair, shits on the carpet and bites the kids.


      • 42
        Have a Cup of Coffee FFS OH says:

        Cliches just won’t cut it this time OH.
        Check the numbers. The cost of strikes is more than double the cost of the staff demands.
        Do the math you idiot!


        • 53

          So Walsh buckles and shells out 50 mill. Unions now feel like they have the advantage.
          So they strike again, again, again and again.


          • The Negotiator says:

            You miss the point I am making.
            The company is pissing away 500 million a year, now is not the time to get Thatcherite with the unions.
            Let them have the cash and keep the company going but make it on the understanding that performance will have to improve and benefits will have to remain static for the forseeable future due to economic conditions.
            Negotiation is the key to resolving the dispute and if the unions want to continue to grab more and more when less and less is available then they will eventually all be out of a job when the airline goes bust.
            I would add that I do not think the unions are acting in the interest of its members and that it still sees itself as a public sector union with limitless amounts of cash at the company’s disposal. They are living in the dark ages.
            But one must be practical, whatever the pros and cons you still do not lose 100 million pounds for the sake of 50 million.
            That is bad business.


        • 62
          Dagny Taggart says:

          Try thinking long term you dullard.


          • The Negotiator says:

            The company is losing 500 million a year, there will be no long term if a deal is not done between the unions and the management.
            You dullard.


      • 46
        Anonymous says:


        In October 2001, he was appointed CEO from his then position of Chief Operating Officer, succeeding Michael Foley who had resigned following a harassment complaint. The carrier was in financial difficulty in the wake of the market downturn following the events of 11 September 2001, losing £2m per day. Walsh took action by eliminating 2,000 staff positions, reducing the number of aircraft types and selling non-core assets, including an art collection at the company headquarters. He reconfigured Aer Lingus as a low-cost airline in imitation of Ryanair, and began withdrawing from various services like short-haul Business Class and cargo services, and heavily restricting the airline’s frequent-flyer programme, TAB.
        The company operating profits rebounded, but the cost of the write-offs and redundancies meant that net profitability was not as quick to recover. Not all of Walsh’s reforms were successful, such as the outsourcing of aircraft cleaning. The contracting had not been agreed with Aer Lingus unions which led to large payments to the private contractor while Aer Lingus employees did the cleaning work. A three-day lockout occurred in 2002 during the peak of the cutbacks.
        The management team suggested to the principal shareholder, the Irish Government, a float of Aer Lingus on the stock market. Stock floats are often rewarding to top management and this was opposed by the unions who feared a privatised Aer Lingus would impose even tougher working conditions. The Government eventually turned down the float and this led to Walsh and other management executives resigning from the company in January 2005.

        The Taoiseach Bertie Ahern subsequently described Walsh’s offer of an MBO as “[a time] when management wanted to steal the assets for themselves through a management buy out, shafting staff interests.”

        And we all know that AL is now a very successful airline.

        The man’s a Hunt. Just like you. Now fuck off.


      • 58
        Spank Sinatra says:

        Seconded OH – Walsh was clear from the outset. If you strike you will lose your travel perks. They went on strike and they lost their travel perks. What part of that did they not understand?

        They were not included as part of any employment contract specifically at the request of the union so that they would not be treated as a benefit in kind and subject to tax as a result. I see nothing inherently wrong in union representation as they can have much to offer but Unite have utterly lost the plot on this one and have sold their members down the river. BA will survive in a form which will allow it to restructure and operate profitably in the future with fewer staff and sensible operating costs. That is Unite’s gift to BA.


        • 70
          The Negotiator says:

          So on a matter of principle Walsh will bankrupt BA.


          • Spank Sinatra says:

            Walsh is simply running a business – clearly something you have never done. Consider it something like organising a school trip to Alton Towers. All the kids are excited and scramble to get on the bus. One rather nasty little child (we could call him Derek or Tony) lets all the tyres down and the trip is cancelled resulting in tears and huge disappointment for all. The next day another bus is booked. So what are you going to do with the kid that fucked it up for everyone – welcome him aboard or tell him firmly that he ain’t bloody going?

            You really are a twat!


          • Excellent. It costs me not a penny and an army of middle aged landwhales and ageing poofs stop bringing back weird and wonderful diseases from their weekend jaunts to Moroccan mens saunas.

            Someone sensible then picks up the pieces and then runs a profitable airline where the passengers are not treated like Hunts.



        • 86
          South of the M4 says:

          For every pilot and cabin steward/ess there are 50 more in the queue who would willingly step into their shoes, and at a lower salary. Walsh has chosen the nuclear option to reduce his operating costs – and the unions will be blamed. His maths, over the long term, I am sure work out. Its aviation, an industry of over supply of people willing to work in it.


          • The Negotiator says:

            Well, there it is.
            The Conservatives have picked up where Labour left off.
            A race to the lowest wages possible.
            Unions are there to prevent that race from being completed.


          • Henry Crun says:

            Negotiator, are you a Union shill?

            While Woodley and Simpson live the high life at the Savoy, the BA staff they claim to represent are getting shafted. By the Union.

            If the BA staff are so unhappy with their wages and working conditions then they are free to take their cabin crew services to another airline. It’s that fucking simple – if you don’t like the company you work for, leave. Get a job elsewhere. If you are too fucking stupid or no-one else will employ you then just lump it. Be grateful for the job you do have.


          • What exactly in a recession is bad about low wages?

            It drives down costs for the business and the costs of an airline ticket to cash strapped customers.

            I’ll assume you hereby support bankers high wages and bonuses for MPs



          • The Negotiator says:

            Keep building your straw men while others resolve the dispute.


      • 189
        Conspiracy Theory. says:

        Same with a pussy – but at least a pussy is useful!


        • 280
          U. Pratt says:

          Lord Old Holborn: I bet you don’t work for the minimum wage? And yet you think it’s OK for others to do so. Is there no level of wage that you would consider to be immoral? If not, you fucking work for it.


    • 36
      Anonymous says:

      …”what sort of a crazy businessman would lose over 100 million pounds to save 50 million?”

      One with a small cock?


    • 61
      Archer Karcher says:

      B.A. are losing hundreds of millions already, because their cost base is too high and they are losing customers to their competitors. Obviously there are some people too stupid to realise that the current state of affairs cannot continue.
      Oh I forgot, socialists dont do reality and cost has no relation to price in their feeble worldview.
      B.A. should give their workers an ultimatum even they might understand, go back to work, or go to the dole queue.


      • 73
        The Negotiator says:

        And get loads of workers in to work cheap?
        Jesus where do cretins like you come from?


        • 136
          Grumpy Old Man says:

          BA pay too much to waiters in an industry in deep decline specifically because previous management has opted out of effective cost management. Mr Walsh has now to make the hard yards to start turning round BA. I realise that this concept is probably too long-term for you, what with you being a Micawberite and all, but spending 100 million this year to ensure a 50 million saving over the next 5 years is good economic practice. All over the private sector, economically savvy workforces are taking pay cuts to make their jobs survive through the bad times which are Labour’s legacy. Trot-led public sector unions are still spewing forth lies, deceit, hatred of success and doltish envy of those who aspire to better things. I hope that Unity continue to put their fingers in their ears and make loud whining noises. The electorate is fickle and needs constant reminders of just how deadbeat socialism is.


        • 151
          Groucho says:

          How exactly is it cretinous to cut costs when times are hard, in order that the business may survive?


      • 137
        What do they put in your coffee? says:

        BA is losing money hand over fist in a market with massive over capacity. New competition is rising in Asia which will wipe BA and the Americans out in five years.

        Staff/Crew costs in Asia are 30% of BA’s.

        They fly the same planes and the same routes and use the same kerosene.

        Go figure.


    • 106
      @Duke_of_Monton says:

      Don’t give into blackmail you halfwit. They only come back in 12 months for a rise…………


  13. 17
    Yesterday's Man says:

    Labour seem to have forgotten that Gordon was the PM and their leader


  14. 18

    We fully support our bruvvas and sistaz at BA. Walsh the scumbag will be brought to his knees.
    All of you deracinated fascists that post here are fucked, you will be judged by the working class when the revolution comes.

    But first i have to rid my keks of the pissy scabs that have irritating my flaps for the past 3 years.

    Up the workers!


  15. 25
    BA Numpty says:

    BA staff are not just overpayed but also unproductive compared to the staff at other airlines. Where budget airlines put 3 cabin staff in a 737 or the small airbus and other flag carriers 4, BA put 5.

    I lived quite a few years in London and made sure to never book the first flight of either BA or BMI after a few delays because staff did not turn up or did not turn up on time.

    Hopeless airline BA except the Heathrow-New York business service.

    Unite(d) we stand grounded!


    • 48
      Whingeing Tories are Bleating About BA now FFS Thatcher will be spinning in her soon to be dug grave says:

      It is called an executive service.
      If you want to travel on a shitty cheap airline that is your right but don’t start bleating about paying executive prices for an executive service.
      You sound like you can’t afford to travel on BA and are just jealous of those who can.
      You loser.


      • 52
        Big Ted says:

        That would make sense if cheaper airlines did not provide better service.


        • 74
          TaT, a blogger with multiple personality disorder says:

          You have to remember TaT is retarded. Then all becomes clear.


        • 77
          The Negotiator says:

          And by cutting wages and benefits and staff numbers of BA will improve its service?
          Please think before posting.


          • sockpuppet #4 says:

            you’re right.

            I didn’t do an MBA or anything like that, but I believe that theres a technical term for a company that is in this sort of situation where theres inertia that prevents them undertaking essential improvement, fucked could be the term they would use.


          • Richard Branson says:

            Trolly Dollies are glorified waitresses

            They should be paid as such like other airlines…

            It is not because they have uniforms and think thay are God’s gift (or are unionised) that they should be paid any differently

            You obviosuly do not inderstand what competition means…


          • Derek Simpson's Grace and Favour mansion says:

            BA staff managed to negotiate a rather cushy deal with very stupid BA management a few years ago, and now because BA is skint, BA has noticed how stupid it was and is trying to get a more sensible deal.

            BA staff being arsey, unionised and in a cushy place, (40k a year to be in flight waiters, FFS) are being ‘led’ by Derek 200k a year and an 800k grace and favour mansion out brothers Marxist Simpson into striking cos they don’t want to lose their cushy deal.

            When they all end up on the dole cos BA has hit the buffers, I hope they think a little about this.

            ANd yes, replacing them with nice Estonian lassies for 15k plus bonus a year would make me happy too as I have had BA ‘hospitality’ in the last 12 months and have vowed never to fly BA again as the staff were rude, incompetent and lost my luggage, after bumping me from my booked flight and then putting me back on it again. Idiots.


      • 93
        Goodbye Gordon, hello Dave, piss off Nick says:

        He actually said that he doesn’t fly BA because they’re often delayed, you mong. Jesus, what a twat you are and I bet you can’t afford a bloody oyster card you sodding brainless doleite. Go and watch Jeremy Kyle.


        • 108
          The Negotiator says:

          Another weak argument, poorly made.
          Throwing insults….refusing to debate the issues….hmm…. you are Willy Walsh and I claim my £5


    • 67
      sockpuppet #4 says:

      They need more staff to handout the free food and coffee (Which, on a 50 minute-in-the-air flight was a bloody farce anyway).


    • 175
      Nick2 says:

      I totally agree with the first BA aircraft of the day being VERY late – either ‘maintenance issues’ or ‘staff couldn’t get to the airport’ – TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

      I especially resented having to get to Heathrow/Gatwick by about 04:30am, only to actually take off between 9 and 10am.

      Never BA again!


      • 219
        filipinomonkey says:

        Now now Nick, it’s never ‘staff couldn’t get to the airport’ the technical term is ‘operational reasons’


  16. 25
    VEE6 says:

    Shame isn’t it? There are too many choices in the world and as a frequent flyer with BA you’d think I’d be upset by this, but nope. Gulf Air has already got my next three long haul flights so I won’t miss BA when it crashes.

    We shouldn’t have saved the banks and now we shouldn’t save militant BA strikers.


    • 193
      Flying fox says:

      Yup – and Singapore Airlines have mine all the way to Oz and back twice in the next three months.


      • 220
        filipinomonkey says:

        In Singapore as we speak, care of KLM/Air France, travel agent actually suggested BA hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


  17. 30
    Tart with a Cart says:

    Window or Aisle?

    Window or you’ll what…


  18. 34
    Have a Cup of Coffee FFS Guido says:

    Oh, and Guido, you dabble in the stock market and are well aware of market trends and how companies are successful when they target and supply a particular market so when you start bleating about how much more the staff of BA are paid relative to the industry you are simply talking cobblers.
    If you want to fly on a crappy cheap airline to save a few quid fair enough.
    If you want to travel with a luxury airline then you should expect to pay more and you should expect a better quality of service.
    You expect executive services to cost the same as budget services.
    Does not compute. Cobblers. Return to drawing board.


    • 134
      Stepney says:

      Luxury fucking airline? BA? Are you having a laugh?


      • 143
        The Negotiator says:

        That is its business model.
        If it does not live up to that model then that is Willie Walsh’s responsibility and he should resign for failing to keep up standards.


    • 145
      What do they put in your coffee? says:

      But BA’s Continental rivals are no longer the bloated, state-owned giants, they used to be.

      Under pressure from the European Commission to eliminate state subsidies, and under pressure from governments to privatise, they have become lean and mean – and ready to compete with BA not only in their home markets, but also to challenge BA in its own heartland at Heathrow.

      And with global alliances becoming even more important in the future, BA looks like being on the losing side of a wave of consolidation in the industry


    • 181
      The big D says:

      When I used to fly in the 90s, Virgin upper class was streets ahead of BA Club World and cost the same. Virgin included transport to and from both airports for the same cost as BA’s flight only.

      If Virgin could provide that service, why were BA unable to?


      • 200
        glacier mint says:

        Because Virgin only had four flights a week, whereas BA had 400


        • 217
          Ivor Tapeworm says:

          That’s a reason? Economies of scale should mean that BA should be able to offer a BETTER service for the same price.


  19. 37
    Bomb BA share price says:

    Anyone who is fired up by woodly or simpson should really go and lay down in a darkened room then book a posh cruise with Carnival (who have at least a reasonable share price) before looking for a new job, as the shit is going to hit the engine intake before long. Be very very afraid people.


  20. 39
    Smig says:

    Scargill, Whelan, Woodley, Simpson.

    Nothing more than tagnuts clipped from the same turd.

    The union leaders are looking to further their own careers and to further feather their own nests.

    They want to be able to say that they brought down and destroyed a big capitalist monster. Unfortunately for the normal, working members of those unions, the big capitalist monster also pays their daily bread.

    BA will be wrecked, just as government subsidised coalmining was destroyed by the idiocy and incompetence of the NUM.

    At least Thatcher gave the pitworkers the opportunity to buyout the mines and work for themselves, but they were too scared to pull themselves away from the teat of subsidy.

    At the time when we most need to pull together as a nation and get out of an economic sinkhole, the likes of Woodley and Simpson are dividing colleagues, splitting friends and destroying jobs. They are fifth columnists, intent on destroying the UK from within.


  21. 40
    oldrightie says:

    Unions are just power crazed wannabee politicos. They broke UK manufacturing, ship building and coal mining. Next stop, service and public service jobs. They are never happiest than when tilting at windmills.


    • 197
      Grammar School Boy says:

      Agree, the nurses and the teachers will be the areas of militancy next year.

      BA is toast; does anyone actually know any person who would voluntarily book with BA now?


  22. 43
    A.N. Armpit says:

    Unite – rhymes with blight, plight and sh*te


  23. 45
    Canary Wharf Rat says:

    Jeez, Strange World. Turkeys voting for Christmas


    • 51
      Richard Branson says:

      Hello boys

      I’m feeling good this morning

      All my transatlantic flights full now…

      And probably for the next ten years now…

      I alwazs told you BA were a bunch of …. !!


      • 99
        Roadrunner says:

        Mr Branson is there any truth in the allegations that you have been paying the champagne bill of Messrs Woodley and Simpson?

        Bee Beep!


  24. 49
    Catflap says:

    I wouldn’t like to comment on the fight between staff and management at BA because I don’t know the facts.
    What I do predict though is that BA issue will be taken advantage of by the lefty scum.
    Those wankers shouldn’t moan,I thought they hated Carbon burning planes anyway.
    Why didn’t this shitfight really kick off under Labour?
    The bastard Lefty scum have been given the green light to let slip the dogs of war now Labour are out of office.
    Nothing we will see from them bastards has anything to do with workers.
    It is about government changing.
    The trouble is I don’t think this government is worth a damn either.


  25. 50
    Big Ted says:

    Just announced – Govt borrowed 10 billion in April alone. Basic maths suggest we will have to borrow around 120 billion this year alone to balance the budget, thank god we are getting 6 billion of staggered cuts, lol.


    • 84
      Archer Karcher says:

      Osborne, Cable and Laws had better wake the fuck up and soon. Six billion in cuts, when you are borrowing ten billion a month is a recipe for disaster. What is wrong with the political class, are they all incompetent?


      • 210
        unablogger says:

        Yep, but how is it the media wasn’t bleating on about this over a year ago. Now how much will we save if we stopped paying the idle gobshite scum of this country and all those that have come here to freeload.


    • 228
      Henry's Afterthought says:

      It is definitely a sick joke, Ted.

      Among other things, I suppose we could consider the Icelandic sollution regarding Emperor Rumpo’s rake-off and our bountiful foreign aid to people who generally hold us in contempt:

      “Sorry lads, we’re broke. We’ll see what we can do when we’ve cleared up the mess”.

      Fat chance, eh?


  26. 55
    On Harman Pride's Dossier says:

    Yes, I suspect “BA Cabin Crew” won’t look too good on the CV when they’re hawking themselves around for new jobs come the end of the year.

    “In this role, I was responsible for proactively losing the airline a billion quid, forcing it into liquidation. I then oversaw the transition to foreign carriers and the subsequent damage to the national trade defect.”


    • 129
      Number 10's cat says:

      I used to work for an electrical installation contractor. When we were hiring for a big job in 2001, the word came down from on high that nobody with Jubilee Line on their CV was to be taken on.


  27. 57
    The IMF may not be coming says:

    Remember the 2002 FBU strike?

    To my mind it was all about Andy Gilchrist grandstanding and enjoying his 15 minutes in the spotlight.

    Where is he now?


  28. 59
    neilmack says:

    Will they break BA?
    Will Willie Walsh?
    Quite probably. He’s determined to win, whatever the cost. And if that ‘whatever’ includes our national airline, then so be it.


    • 109
      Archer Karcher says:

      Math’s not your strong suit? What are B.A.’s underlying fundementals halfwit? That’s right, fundementals, they are losing hundreds of millions because their cost base is too high in relation to their competitors, they are uncompetitive. Raising the cost base further, would make them even more uncompetitive, losing even more money long term. What part of uncompetitive cost base, do you not understand?


      • 190
        neilmack says:

        The only halfwit here is you, you gormless muppet.
        The Union isn’t asking for pay increases.

        Now, which part of “wick off” don’t you understand, halfwit?


        • 290
          Gladys Pew says:

          You are a complete stupid hoon, I won’t fly with BA and neither will any of my friends now. They ar absolutely fucked, thanks to dinosaurs like yourself.


  29. 60

    I had no real interest in this till I heard that union cock on the radio this morning, given ten minutes free propaganda time, and repeatedly asked to explain what the strike was *for*; what the issues were. Fat corrupt marxist fuck couldn’t even come close to doing that. The *entire* strike appears to be about his union aiming to demonstrate power – a purely marxist approach I recall well from my youth in Brum. They used to make cars there – Red Robbo and his pals sorted that out…

    So, although I don’t fly and really have no interest in the business, I’m with Willy Walsh – smash these ignorant, grasping, unproductive fuckers. Grind them into the fucking dirt. Break the union, and I will fly with you…


    • 80
      sockpuppet #4 says:

      “red robbo sorted that out” … funny. I thought red robbo disappeared almost 30 years before longbridge closed.

      Were there many strikes at ryton from 1980 to 2006 ?


      • 101
        QWERTY says:

        Red Robbo was a c u n t I hope he dies of cancer slowly and in pain. BL was still turning out shit cars, The Austin Metro and the Maestro were utter fucking wank. The only people who bought them were mongs and commie’s.


        • 117
          sockpuppet #4 says:

          very coherent.

          So Red Robbo was actually on the design team in the 1980s when he was officially sacked? Most cars were shite back then.


        • 120

          I had a metro….

          the floor literally fell out of it.

          great handling – a terrific design – but utterly awful build quality.

          sockpuppet, red robbo might have been off the scene for 30 years before rover folded, but he and his ilk destroyed bL as a mass producer. I knew loads of people who “worked” there – people would genuinely bring sleeping bags in on the night shift, people spent their entire working days on foreigners, people would have card schools going 24/7 – and the management were bullied into accepting all of this by constant strikes.

          No one could run a business like that.


          • sockpuppet #4 says:

            How old was that metro? I had a relatively late metro and it was astonishingly reliable ( astonishing compared to 1970s cars).

            If one could re-write the 1970s without red robbo, and without people arsing about, you might still get to 2006 with no longridge. If they’d have been more sucessful turning out crap cars through the 70s they might not have even bothered upping their game through the 80s and 90s.
            e.g. making the metro, or giving it a multi-valve engine by the 90s.


          • lolol says:

            I had a Metro did 90,000 miles in two years and 3 engines and two new front windowscreens, cracking little car no bother apart from the 3 engines and two windowscreens,it was yes believe it or not a company car but the idiots forgot how much mileage I did, like we Willy trying to save money at any cost ended up costing even more,still the laws of motion every action has an equal but opposite reaction is never taken into account by da management.


          • who can forget the Allegro Vanden Plas?

            Build quality of a Calcutta shed. Except the shed is still there.

            I worked for London Transport once. All I did was play cards and read the paper for a year. Then I worked for the NHS and really put my feet up.


          • one who knows about these things says:

            lolol – the word is windscreen ie to screen you from the wind.


          • lolol says:

            one who knows about these things

            Yes I know it was put in to provide a nice juicy worm for Tuscan Tony to bite on,hey ho.


  30. 75
    purpleline says:

    Willie Walsh should change their contracts.

    1) Close down BA Friday Night at 5pm going into liquidation

    2) Create new company Bu-BA

    3) Leave all the debts in the old company including pensions

    4) Nu-BA buys the assets of BA for £1 and takes on its debts and pension obligations with a 30% haircut

    5) New contracts for all staff with a 70% of current wage and 30% bonus from profitability. Guaranteed if Nu=BA makes a profit

    Sack the vindictive left wing poofs and make NU-BA non unuion


    • 81
      The Negotiator says:

      Willie Walsh is in the process of achieving the liquidation of BA.
      I just cannot believe that you Tories are cheering him on as he destroys a British institution.
      Fucking unbelievable. Just like Thatcher taking the hatchet to thousands of families when she destroyed the mining industry in this country overnight.
      And now we have to import coal at extortionate prices when we are sitting on a 300 year supply.
      You could not make up the shit you Tories come out with sometimes.


      • 88
        Sir William Waad says:

        Walsh has realised that some situations aren’t win-win. If the other side are acting irrationally, as Unite are, it is a win-lose situation and Walsh wants to win. Unite are in effect suicide-bombing BA and you can’t negotiate with a suicide bomber.


        • 96
          The Negotiator says:

          Acting irrationally?
          Willie Walsh is losing over a hundred million pounds for the sake of less than fifty million pounds.
          That is irrational Sir Waad.


          • Smig says:

            You keep mentioning the 50 million versus 100 million in each post that you make.

            Is that the ONLY argument that you’ve got?

            And you call yourself a negotiator? You are repetitive, and unwilling to compromise, nor are you willing to listen to the arguments put forward by other conspirators.

            You are being surly, unwilling to negotiate, and very much entrenched in your position.

            Negotiator? Negative numpty more like.


          • Archer Karcher says:

            Imbecile, you understand nothing. B.A.’s costs are too high already in relation to it’s competitors. Raising your cost base, when it is already too high, is long term madness that will destroy the company slowly. I am afraid you are too thick to understand something even as simple as this. Unite could not care less if B.A. disappeared tomorrow and everyone lost their jobs, they have far wider ambitions.


          • The Negotiator says:

            I keep mentioning the relevant numbers because running a business is about making a profit.
            BA, under Willie Walsh’s leadership has just lost 500 million pounds.
            He should resign for being unable to run a profitable business.


          • Groucho says:

            You’re right. Striking under the worst market conditions in decades isn’t irrational. Its a blatant attempt at blackmail.

            Pay the union off now and they will be back for more within six months.


          • Fidel X Penses says:

            Oh dear, you’re Fabian Solutions/United/Harman Pride or whatever you’re currently calling yourself, aren’t you? I’m sure Gordon has some spare Largactil for you.

            Now be a good boy and go get a job doing something productive.


          • Harry the Camel says:


            Here’s a good rational deal.

            Unite finds a chance to charge BA an additional 50 million per annum, ROI is great because unless BA cough up Unite cause damages of 100 million.

            Rational BA coughs up. What a deal.

            Next, Unite finds a different cause to charge BA an additional 200 million a year in increased benefits to its members, with a downside of 500 million in cost of damages due to a Unite organised strike.

            Rational for BA to cough again obviously ….Where would it stop?

            It is simple, BA has to face down Unite and show who is running the company. Unless severe cost reductions are put in place BA will continue to be unable to afford even to replace it’s ageing fleet.


      • 94
        QWERTY says:

        Fuck off wanker. It’s the BA staff killing the airline, just like the fucking mongs at British Leyland destroyed the company then thanks to red Robbo and his bum boy mates in the Liebour party.

        BA staff get well paid they had no need to strike, all they were being asked to do was work to the same rules GATWICK staff already were doing.

        It’s fucking shit stabbers like YOU that have ruined our Country. Do you work for the BBC by chance?


        • 97
          The Negotiator says:

          Poor argument, badly made.


          • Archer Karcher says:

            Unlike your’s, which is moronic in extremis. How ironic, a “Negotiator” with no understanding of how business’ function. Pathetic stuff.


          • The Negotiator says:

            Another poor, insult laced argument.
            Please raise your game gentlemen, you are currently losing the debate.


          • unablogger says:

            I’m afraid the BA situation is a team effort, if the moron’s follow Unite’s policies then it’s true, lemming’s do exist. Walsh is no saint, anyone who run’s a business (or a country) at a continual loss is not fit to run a raffle. Best thing is to shut BA down, offer their routes to the most promising of candidates throughout the industry, let’s be honest we don’t need a national carrier, it’s a global industry.


          • Derek Simpson's Grace and Favour mansion says:

            BA can’t afford another 50 million on top of 500 million so their 40k a year waiters can have free flights. Or haven’t you noticed they made a 500 million loss. I realise you are a union shill but I would hope you can add up.


        • 112
          sockpuppet #4 says:

          Red Robbo didn’t kill off British Leyland.

          However, in 1979- british people still “bought british” quite a lot and didnt trust forrin cars (even remember a company car list that didnt have any). And the japanese hadn’t quite got their game sorted out the way they have now. And no-one even knew where Korea was.
          The fact that the Maxi was crap didn’t matter because fiats and renaults were worse.

          BL survived, and even made one or two reasonable cars in the following decades. But reasonable cars aren’t good enough any more. We’d got bored of rovers by 2005, and didn’t give a shit about them going bust.

          I can’t be bothered pointing out all the parallels.


          • Stan Butler says:

            Bollocks. What killed BL was all the people trying to start their shit marxist BL cars every morning for over an hour whilst the owners of Datsuns turned the key once and left for work. BL were shit. Shit cars, shit workers, shit managers and shit materials. It should have been cosigned to the scrapheap years before.


        • 150
          Meanwhile in the REAL world says:

          Singapore Airlines reduced its staff costs by a remarkable 26.2% year-on-year in its fiscal third quarter ended 31-Dec-2009, making it best-in-class in the Asia Pacific region (behind the Indian airlines) and taking it back to a staff cost/ASK level last seen in 2003.


      • 152
        Phil says:

        Said the dinosaur!
        Scargill destroyed the mining Industry and it looks like Woodley and Simpson will have the dubious honour of destroying BA.
        In a totalitarian State Scargill, would have been stood up against a wall and shot before a Thatcher was required to clear up his disastrous fxxxing mess and we would still have a mining Industry.


      • 194
        purpleline says:

        What about those children of the mine workers, they do not have to go down ‘t pit any more, some when into Ballet, some got better jobs, all are more healthy, wealthy & wise.

        Were you happy to consign children to follow their fathers down the put?


        • 224
          unablogger says:

          And the majority work in Asda filling the shelves with products made by children in the Third World by foreign manufacturers. No government supported manufacturing in this country…ever.


  31. 83
    The Court of Public Opinion says:

    Even Champagne socialists think union barons like Whelan are absolute shits. Their members are useful idiots with irrelevant concerns like welfare, pay etc. No, Whelan gets a big fat wad of cash no matter if BA goes bust and the workers lose not only their jobs but their pensions too. I wouldn’t shed too many tears for them though – not only have they demonstrated their stupidity by believing this bastards shite, but they also want more than the 3x they are already getting for the equivalent jobs in other airlines.


  32. 85
    QWERTY says:

    BA are shit and deserve to go bust. I had to fly in one of their death traps a couple of years ago, the women all looked like Kay Burley after a fight and the aircraft had more paint flaking off it and ripped seats than at a Millwall match.

    Get rid I say.


  33. 92
    Dài the spy says:

    I am straight. Male 64 years and 19 stones. I cannot get a job with Ba as cabin crew!
    Is Walsh ageist, sizeist and sexist?


    • 165
      Archer Karcher says:

      Your assumption is somewhat flawed fatty. Though it is fair to say, sweaty lardarses are not good imagewise, for a company in the people business.
      Be thankful that B.A. are not required to employ retards in the name of fairness and diversity either.
      At thirty thousand feet, things could get a little tricky, if you upset a drooler with the strength of twenty men, by saying you did not want your sandwich and tea on the same plate.


  34. 100
    Gordon's favourite Butt Plug says:

    It is the right thing to do!

    Who cares if BA survives. BA Cabin Crew have a death wish, and Walsh was never up to the job.



  35. 107
    Anonymous says:

    BA losing £1.5m a day! Before long you’re talking serious money. BA’s LHR crew have been a millstone round its neck for decades. As soon as the restrictive practices, corruption and outright theft are threatened they’re out.

    It’s obvious that a long term, amicable relationship between these two camps is not attainable. There’ll be something else next year or the year after.

    So why doesn’t Walsh bite the bullet? Those who strike next week will be deemed to have dismissed themselves and recruitment starts now. Sure, there will be pain. But pain once. Not pain every year.


    • 114
      Anonymous2 says:

      go on Willie, use your real name

      what and return to employment and recruitment practices of the feudal era?

      maybe, just maybe there’s responsibility on the employer as well as the staff here.

      i’m not sure that workers on strike through a legitimate vote can be ‘sacked’ because of it – employment law happens to work both ways you know


      • 212
        Aeroflot...we want Heathrow flight slots says:

        As part of the retraining, a number of Aeroflot hostesses have been sent to Singapore to receive training from Singapore Airlines. “The passenger is always right!” said Mr Savelyev, voicing a concept that often seems to be alien to Russian flight crews. “We have fired a lot of stewardesses for being rude to passengers,”


    • 116

      The answer is in the 12 weeks strike protection in Labour’s under reported Union laws.


  36. 115

    The is only possible because of Labour’s pro-strike laws.

    Remove Labour’s legislation since 1997 and watch the dispute end one way or the other.


  37. 118
    Ghost of Greg Stone says:

    I blame Sue.


  38. 121
    Sir William Waad says:

    Former air stewards and stewardness are far from unemployable because their training fits them for many service industries. The chap in charge of our local theatre is (by his own admission) a former trolley-dolly. The combination of good manners and firmness needed in business and first class stands him in very good stead. (I don’t know how it is for you folk in cattle class).

    If I were them I wouldn’t chuck it all away on a whim, though.


  39. 124
    Anonymous says:

    My first wife worked for BA – this was few years back, then ( don’t know now) the longest direct (and most expensive ticket) BA flight was to Bali – that flight was never less than 20% full of BA employees making sure they got their money’s worth!!! Everyone in her office had been to Bali!
    Why is it some “Basic fundamental human right” to strike for a free flight half way round the world?


    • 131
      Anonymous says:

      and also forgot to add this -then certainly- BA pensioners got the same freebies!


      • 153
        Anonymous says:

        Ranting more…… she was a newish employee and took her first freebie to Paris

        one of the old BA lags ( probably a shop steward) told her she was …..
        “an absolute mug….. you have to take them for all you can get…. I go to Bali every year”

        That’s the mentality you are dealing with
        – sod it let them go bust and make sure UNITE gets every shred of the blame
        Think about it trolley dollies when your employer is that git O’Leary if he will have you.


        • 205
          vivalarevolution says:

          It’s always the same with these old State businesses.
          I’ve a relative in her 80’s who’s been travelling free on the railways, since her husband died 40 years ago!


  40. 130
    Stepney says:

    Go into liquidation today. Sack the workshy fuckers.

    Set up UK Airways tomorrow with aforemetioned Estonian lovelies.



    • 142
      lembit opik says:

      Dear Mr Walsh,

      I am Estonian and rather lovely, I have recently been made redundant and I was wondering if you needed any new trolly dollys…


  41. 135

    Sadly, teh £1.7 billion cash pile was to replace their old panes. they need £4 billion quid for that. easyjet average is 3.8 years old, BA’s main fleet is over 15 years.
    The costs of servicing that are going to be huge and no shiny new, more fuel efficient planes in the offing. BA is in a very bad way.


  42. 155
    Peter in NW1 says:

    After the 12th of June BA can sack the strikers (The 12 week protection goes then), folks over at the boards seem to think this is quite likely.

    On the staff travel front, they were told before the strike it would be lost if they went on strike and as it’s non-contractual (other wise it would be taxed as BIK) they are screwed on that, even then Willie Walsh has said they could be eligible on the same terms as new starters.

    The rest of the airline has made substantial savings already, only the cabin crews based at Heathrow seem to think this shouldn’t apply to them. If the strike costs £100M for now over £50M of savings as some of the folks here think then BA only have to win for over two years to be ahead.

    Thankfully my next BA flight is with the more sensible Gatwick based crews who haven’t gone on strike so I’m feeling pretty confident about my summer holidays.


    • 172

      What do you mean Peter? The savings will outweigh the losses in only two years?


      • 178
        Peter in NW1 says:

        Yep, and originally (I’m unsure about the current situation) the union only offered temporary savings for two years £50M/year the strike is estimated to cost £5M per day and they’ll be strinking for 20 days.

        The interesting bit here is quite how hacked off the rest of the airline seems to be with the bassa members.


        • 279
          Unsworth says:

          Exactly, and it’s remarkable that Woodley and Simpson have managed to give the impression that this strike is actively supported by all BA crew.

          About time Walsh explained exactly who is striking – and the effect it is having on other members of BA staff, let alone the customers.


  43. 156
    Michael68000 says:

    I suppose on the positive side, Unite are doing their bit to lower CO2 emissions. :)

    Hey, who needs BA anyway, plenty more airlines!


  44. 162
    Diane Abbott says:

    “we need to save the Labour party from the policy wonks and the thinktanks. Mrs Duffy of Rochdale and I have this much in common: we are not afraid to speak our mind, we love our party and we want it back”


    • 173
      Fuck Balls the scotts and welsh says:

      Balls=Unite=strike ‘er no thanks


    • 176
      Archer Karcher says:

      Diane Abbott personifies all that is wrong with ZaNu, stupid, tribalistic, incompetent, hypocritical and thoroughly outdated dogmatist’s. Socialism is an idea that has come and gone.
      The people in Eastern Europe hated it and got rid as soon as they could. The Brits took thirteen long years, to wake up to the stasi state being built around them, then flushed the socialists away to their ghetto heartlands.
      Hopefully, never to return.


      • 183
        Hazel Blears,licensed tealeaf hawks a big green yocker and spits in faces of salford dickheads says:

        and she is a fucking racist black twat


      • 225
        Anonymous says:

        “The Brits took thirteen long years, to wake up to the stasi state being built around them, then flushed the socialists away to their ghetto heartlands”

        You think Dave’s different ?


    • 185

      She would be ideal replacement for the John Prescott version of the deputy leader role.
      An office with lots of staff and unimportant tractor stats she can initial and they can shred. Let her have a laptop that is really a LeapPad and a phone that isn’t plugged in, and leave her with a copy of Take-A-Break and some chocolate Hobnobs and she’s no bother to anyone.


    • 192
      Anonymous says:

      “we love our party and we want it back”

      We love our country and we want that back.


    • 278
      Unsworth says:

      Listen lady, you can certainly have your fucking Party back – just keep it to yourself in future.


  45. 182
    Hazel Blears,licensed tealeaf hawks a big green yocker and spits in faces of salford dickheads says:

    The pope will make all the fags pay come the second inquisition


  46. 184
    Apple Cart says:

    I haven’t flown BA for at least 25 years. When I last did I seem to remember the cabin staff as being coolly detached and generally disinterested rather than offering pleasant service.

    Over those last 25 years I’ve often used foreign airlines out of choice. My reasoning being that if you’re going on holiday the moment you board a foreign aircraft with foreign cabin staff the holiday with a difference has begun right there on the tarmac. With British cabin crew the ‘get away from it all’ sensation doesn’t start until until you say goodbye as you leave the plane at your destination.

    However, some months back I found myself wondering whether I ought to give BA another try. Perhaps their service had become a bit warmer and more pleasant over the decades. I was on the point of booking when all this strike bloody mindedness started.

    What was I thinking? Scratch the surface and the British Airways’ staff attitude of churlishness and contempt for customers hasn’t changed over the decades after all. Thank God I was able to get seats on an American airline instead.


    • 223
      Anonymous says:

      I flew them a lot in the ’90s and they were good then – at least in club. Haven’t for years, wouldn’t touch ‘em with a bargepole now.


    • 229
      Bob says:

      I flew BA a lot in the 70s !

      Tried to avoid them then…arrogant and surly…

      But not so much competition as today…


    • 250
      Susie says:

      When I last flew BA (to the Caribbean) almost exactly 10 years ago, the outward flight was great… but the return!!!

      Rude, unhelpful and visibly annoyed because I didn’t settle down and go to sleep on the overnight flight hardly possible when they hadn’t bothered to collect the remains of the evening in-flight meal..


  47. 186
    Penfold says:

    I sense a Phoenix very shortly.

    Tough for the shareholders, but for BASSA/UNISON a total wipeout. Serves the idle buggers…..


  48. 188
    Anonymous says:

    BA – what a shitty company.

    Here is an organisation that tried to shut down Virgin Atlantic in the 80s using dirty ticks, tried to eradicate all traces of Britain from their planes in the 90s (just what the fuck do they think the B in BA stands for?), and then made a complete tit of itself when the vast new terminal 5 at Heathrow failed to work perfectly from day one (Who but the BA corporate wankers didn’t see that one coming!)

    BA represents all that’s crap about corporate Britain, overpriced, arrogant, elitist, and living off a past reputation that’s long gone and probably was never deserved in the first place.

    Left to the likes of BA, flying would strictly be for the wealthy. Don’t want the lower orders moving around, do we.

    Good riddance if this company goes to the wall.


    • 195
      Branson is no Saint either says:

      ” using dirty ticks ”

      I always wondered why I was so itchy after flying Virgin.


    • 298
      Sally Winters (Dissatisfied Virgin Customer) says:

      BA’s prices are inclusive of taxes and what you see is what you pay.
      Your so called cut price airlines, don’t have the calibre of staff that BA have, they display what appears to be low £29 tickets with hidden £48 takes plus other hidden extras like baggage check in £9 plus vat. The price is guaranteed to be more expensive than BA. I’ve got the t shirt.
      I am referring to Easy Jet and Monarch.
      I have paid less money for BA club class which puts all the rest to shame.


  49. 208
    BMI lady with an arse like two shrink-wrapped peaches says:

    Who cares? We’ve got nicer uniforms than that lot, so sod them.


  50. 218
    Flying the Flag but not the British one says:

    The customer(who it appears figures nowhere in the calculations of either BA or UNITE)will vote with their feet and use alternative carriers or American Carriers on the lucrative Trans-Atlantic Routes and who can blame them.

    Whilst both sides are playing macho-politics and waiting to see who blinks first business is being lost and ultimately if it continues BA will either have to put their fares so low as to be barely covering costs,laying off staff and selling aircraft.Don’t forget that other carriers are queing up to take BA s sought after Heathrow slots off them


  51. 226
    Paddy says:




  52. 227
    MI5 says:


    Good to see the Lady Blogger taking Indy to Court and winning

    What has happened to Lord Ashcroft’s cases against the Indy and others ?

    He could recoup all his election expenses off the Dead Tree Press !!


  53. 231
    Andrew Zalotocky says:

    I suspect that what’s really going on here is that Unite is trying to force BA back into public ownership. As long as BA remains in the private sector the management has no choice about facing down union demands if they want to stay in business. This means that the union’s power over the company will steadily decline into nothing.

    But if BA were nationalised again the union could demand whatever it wanted without any fear of the company going out of business. The management would no longer have any incentive to resist. They wouldn’t see any point in fighting strikes when they could just sit back and let the government handle the negotiations and the taxpayer foot the bill. What’s more, if a union could do this to BA it would intimidate other employers and greatly increase the bargaining power of all the unions.

    The Unite leadership would calculate that no government would be willing to let BA go out of business. Even apart from all the job losses and the knock-on effect on BA’s suppliers the collapse of the former flag carrier would be huge symbol of British decline that no government would want to be associated with. So Unite is trying to break BA to force the government to take it over.


  54. 240
    Cato Street Conspirator says:

    ‘fired up by Derek Simpson and Tony Woodly’s ego’ – What absolute nonsense. Simpson and Woodly are bending over backwards to settle. The obstacle is the BA cabin crew – and don’t you have to ask yourself why that is? I’m sorry to see Guido taking sides in this dispute and, worst of all, the wrong side.


  55. 249
    Keith Joseph's Preserved Pulsing Head says:

    Is it too blue sky an idea that BA be separated into two separate companies?

    called British European Airways (or BEA for short)

    and British Overseas Airline Company or BOAC

    Yes- has a lovely ring to it


  56. 252
    johnny come lately says:

    British Airways will be declared bankrupt next week. All employees of this company will be declared unemployed with immediate effect.

    Willie will walk into another top job!!

    A new company – or even Virgin or Easyjet/RyanAir- will then take over the whole operation and will recruit NON Union employees who will all sign a NO STRIKE agreement.

    Simple really.


  57. 255
    Jimmy says:

    “You would be mad to book a BA flight in advance this summer ”

    Of course. Decent people do not cross picket lines. Glad to see you’re on board.


    • 277
      Unsworth says:

      So you anticipate that BASSA/Unite is going to strike for the whole of Summer? Fucking Great! Is Branson paying you?

      If they stay on strike for Summer they’ll be in the Dole queue for the whole of Autumn and thereafter. Who in their right minds would want to employ them?

      Still Derek and Tony don’t give a shit, do they? It won’t affect their lavish lifestyles in the slightest.


  58. 264
    Keith Joseph's Preserved Pulsing Head says:

    Walsh should up the stakes – agree to all UNITE’s demands all of them with brass knobs on and with the next breath (while the commie wreckers are dancing with their red flags) announce 20% redundancies across the board see what happens


  59. 266
    Dancing On Volcano says:

    The militants aren’t planning to be at the back of the dole queue. They’ll either take early retirement + redundancy pay, or claim incap benefit, due to being ‘bullied’ and having to stand in planes while pushing trolleys, back injury while demonstrating safety exits, and accidentally swallowing during ‘whistle to attract attention’ demo.
    Or else retire to family home in Palma/Costas and milk various BTLs/run B&Bs.
    They think.


  60. 268
    Dancing On Volcano says:

    My guess is that Willie has a Plan:- Sack the troublemakers, employ new, younger staff, force the EU/UK to give massive aid to the airlines affected by the ash, lobby for the the new air fuel taxes to be scrapped before they’re implemented. Either that or bankruptcy, he’ll tell Hammond – who was very involved with Tory tax reduction plans in the Shadow Treasury Team before the election.
    I mean, ‘I’m worf it because I’m older’ isn’t an argument you hear much of these days from employees. Nor do we patronise BA because we fancy the Older Person (or Purser).


  61. 270
    13eastie says:

    The fates of BA and its employees are of no consequence whatsoever to Unite the Union (an organisation whose ridiculous name is an ironic exercise in redundancy per se).

    BA is merely a casualty in a live firing exercise in which Unite is getting the airline to spend a fortune on legal work that will arm the Union for the proxy war it is about to wage on the Tories, via public sector employers (otherwise known as the Taxpayer).

    Having wasted £11m of its members dues trying in vain to keep Labour in power, Whelan, Dromey and their cronies are in wrecking mode and they could not care less who gets hurt.


  62. 275
    Icarus the british airline says:

    Observe the behaviour of the BSSA strikers and be thankful you do NOT fly BA.

    Willie, it is time to closedown BA, plenty of better airlines for us to fly with.


  63. 276
    neilmack says:

    Mr Walsh was on television a little while ago.
    He looks as though his Board have given him 72 hours to extricate himself, and them, from the corner into which he has painted them.

    Bye, bye, Willie, as Stripe nearly said.


  64. 283
    V says:

    A friend who has airpoints to use on BA, won’t fly with them because they are so bad! Speaks volumes.


  65. 289
    Anonymous says:

    Why does anybody fly BA anymore? If they’re not on strike then they lose your bags. They’ll often do both at the same time. Yet they’re still pretty much the most expensive tickets you can get.

    I mean, shit service, you don’t know if you’ll even be able to fly because it’ll depend on the mood of their union thugs at the time, and you have to pay through the nose for the privilege?

    Fuck that; they should have gone bust years ago.

    If the union members are stupid enough to vote for the total destruction of the company that they work for, then the government needs to step in and say to the members “ok; vote for the strike if you want. But don’t expect to get any dole money from us when your company goes bust, because what you’re doing is economic terrorism. You vote, then you’re on your own. No fucking handouts.”


  66. 297
    BA CUSTOMER says:

    The problem is not Unite, but macho management. Willie Walsh has absolutely no concept of how the airline has been run in the past, the quality of it’s cabin crew and their professionalism. I have experienced BA’s cabin staff’s excellence in both economy and in the club cabin.

    BA operates in a very volatile and competitive market. There are indeed many savings to be made, but there are ways of achieving this.

    Willie Walsh needs to learn a little more about BA’s background before wielding the big stick and upsetting his dedicated people. He needs to take Tony Woodley into his confidence and all his cabin crew, whether union members or not, outline in detail the savings that need to me made, and ask his cabin crew people to achieve that goal. In other words make them instrumental in making the savings.

    This is a far more democratic approach. It is my experience as a passenger that his crew have very little respect for Mr Walsh as he has not come up through the ranks, lacks any appreciation in real terms as to the quality of his people.

    His people want only the best for the customer and this together with the necessary cuts can be achieved by a few brain storming sessions. Sorry, Mr Walsh, you need to involve people at grass roots level. The big stick approach has failed. You need to carry your people with you, they will feel good, they’ll treat the customer good and the customer will feel good and the shareholders will feel good. Mr Walsh needs to move on.

    In the words of Alan Sugar, he hasn’t got a bloody clue.

    Sorry, Mr Walsh, you’re fired!


  67. 299
    bike racks says:

    thats what happens when you play with the environment.


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