Potential BA Strikes Niall G - 323rd post - 13 Aug 2004 13:40
Why do airline staff always seem to vote for strikes in the holiday period?
And I will admit to a selfish interest as BA's strike last year ruined my honeymoon and it looks like this year's holiday is going to be affected too.
re: Potential BA Strikes Little Richardjohn - 25th post - 28 Aug 2004 13:06
Market forces, market forces.
These workers only have one bargaining tool - witholding their labour. But this is an expensive weapon, and so must be used to greatest effect. Like a business advertising in Cosmopolitan rather than Loot.
When would you have them strike? A nice wet wednesday in October, perhaps? Or maybe the management should be allowed to decide when the strike would happen, or we could have an on-line ballot of travellers to decide when would be the best time for a strike.
This is the reality of the free market. The workers have a product to sell. If an employer wants to buy it he must pay the going rate. And when that rate needs to be changed, he will have to pay that too or find a cheaper product.
The next time you hail a black cab, try negotiating the tariff. You will swiftly experience strike action by your workforce. Personally, I think that's outrageous. Taxi drivers holding the capital to ransom like that, but what can you do? It's the free market.
re: Potential BA Strikes bill - 88th post - 28 Aug 2004 14:14
I am not sure your analogy is entireley correct. Black cabs are licensed and have fixed charges. You cannot just set yourself up as a black cab driver. Since the supply is regulated the market is not entirely free.
I seem to recall that minicab drivers (i know it is a differnt market)would inthe past negotiate a fare. I think they may have been unlicensed but am not sure as it is a long time ago.
Airlines are also regulated although there are lots of airlines to choose from. I reckon BA operates in a much more comptetitive market than the cabs to which you referred.
With every job I have there has in reality been no strike option. If you did not like it you left and went somewhere else. I realise that is not the case in all jobs. I also understand that the unions think it is in their interests to threaten strike action at the time when the company is most vulnerable. Ultimately however the threat or action is likely to rebound on all the stakeholders, the employees, the company and its shareholders because customers can use other airlines. I always used to fly BA if I could but after a bad experience few years ago I decided use other airlines.
re: Potential BA Strikes Little Richardjohn - 27th post - 28 Aug 2004 14:55
OK 'Black cabs are licensed and have fixed charges.'
Workers are licensed by their contract and have fixed wages (if they're lucky.
'You cannot just set yourself up as a black cab driver.'
You cannot just walk into ANY job, that I know of. You either have to have the skill or the qualifications or be desperate.
'Since the supply is regulated the market is not entirely free.'
Then they ARE a trade union, and should be denegrated in the same way for defying the laws of the free market and preventing employers from getting the cheapest possible labour.
Whichever way you cut it, a provider is a provider and has the right to ask what he likes for his product. It's just that in this country we don't think people on P.A.Y.E. have the same rights as the sturdy old Self-Employed - or the middle classes as they used to be known.
re: Potential BA Strikes bill - 91st post - 28 Aug 2004 15:13
I am not sure if we are agreeing with each other or not. I agree that employees have lots of rights protected by law. The self employed have few if any rights. That is by because by definition the only person a self employed person might sue would be him or herself which the law recognises as being absurd.
re: Potential BA Strikes Little Richardjohn - 28th post - 28 Aug 2004 15:56
You're getting hung up on the labels Self-employed and employed. Think instead in terms of suppliers and consumers, each bargaining for the best deal. Why should a baggage handler not be granted the status of a supplier (of labour) while his employer is?
re: Potential BA Strikes bill - 93rd post - 28 Aug 2004 16:07
I am not sure that i am getting hung up on labels since they do not mean the same thing.
If all the BA employees were freelance with neither the benefits nor disadvantages of beng an employee you might be justified in calling them suppliers. I for one think there could be great benefits for some if more economic relationships were dealt with as such. However the employer / employee distinction has existed for a long time and is recognised at law and has been long been litigated over because of the different rights and responsibilites that apply.
re: Potential BA Strikes Little Richardjohn - 30th post - 28 Aug 2004 16:38
If all employees were freelance, employers would have to spend all their time negotiating individual contracts, and nothing would ever get done, which is why we have Unions (and the BMA, The Law Society, and all the other protection agencies which look after the interests of their memberships).
The fact that a distinction is recognised in law doesn't alter the physical fact that a dustman taking away your rubbish is supplying his labour at a price to his employer. Your lawyer does much the same thing.
re: Potential BA Strikes bill - 96th post - 28 Aug 2004 16:59
I am grateful for your attempt to give me the benefit of your knowledge and understanding but can assure you that in my case it is entirely unnecessary.
I think I can understand how you arrive at your insights but am not convincec, based on your conclusions, of you methodology.
I am not suggesting all employees should necessarily be freelance. In addition it does not follow that "employers would have to spend all their time negotiating individual contracts, and nothing would ever get done". There are plenty of people who work ona self-emplyed basis for one (legal) person without having to constantly adjust the terms of their contract.
re: Potential BA Strikes Little Richardjohn - 33rd post - 28 Aug 2004 17:07
'who work ona self-emplyed basis for one (legal) person without having to constantly adjust ...' Exactly. for ONE person. So what about the baggage handlers at Heathrow? What about Ford's, M&S, The NHS. It seems I really have to spell it out - or are you having a laugh?
re: Potential BA Strikes bill - 98th post - 28 Aug 2004 17:10
I specifically wrote "one (legal) person". A legal person can be a natural person such as yourself or for example a company which is also a legal "person". I am sorry if you did not recognise the difference that i was stressing
re: Potential BA Strikes Little Richardjohn - 35th post - 28 Aug 2004 17:23
How do you suggest a mass employer like Ford's negotiates its wages without the help of an intermediary representative?.
re: Potential BA Strikes bill - 101st post - 28 Aug 2004 17:35
I used to work for an organisation which like Ford was one of the largest of its kind in the world. It probably had a few hundred thousand employees but that is not my point. Salaries and packages were negotiated individually.
It may or may not be the case that Ford could do that. I wrote earlier that self-employment may not be appropriate in all circumstances. Somehow however I do not think that is your point.
re: Potential BA Strikes Little Richardjohn - 37th post - 28 Aug 2004 17:44
What, the 'Human Resources' department wrote to each employee and said 'When would you like to come in and negotiate your wages?'
I suspect that what you're calling negotiation was a 'take-it-or-leave-it' deal. Especially as there wouldn't have been any unions present.
And the circumstances we're talking about here are always those involving a mass employer. You just don't see headlines in the Mail - 'Surveyor in Tooting Holds Clients To Ransom.'
Anything else? Cos I've got to go in and have my tea.
re: Potential BA Strikes Little Richardjohn - 38th post - 28 Aug 2004 17:49
Hang on -
'an organisation which like Ford was one of the largest of its kind in the world. It probably had a few hundred thousand employees...'
You're talking about McDonalds. You were a hash-slinger in the summer holidays.
How d'you like it? If it was the Golden McGristle, then you must know how much negotiating goes on. No wonder you changed the subject a bit sharpish. If it wasn't them, it will have been someone like them.
re: Potential BA Strikes bill - 104th post - 28 Aug 2004 17:56
I do not know why you assume it was McDonalds unless perhaps you have direct experience of their working practices. In fact it was nothing like McDonalds but then that is my business.
re: Potential BA Strikes Little Richardjohn - 39th post - 29 Aug 2004 17:37
I have enough second hand experience of McDog's working practices to keep me at arm's length.
Was it Burger King? Whatever. Just tell me how they 'negotiated' their remuneration
Enjoy your tea, again.