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Case study: British Airways and Unite Union

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case study
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  1. Context
  2. Actors
  3. Negotiation's phases
  4. Negotiation analysis
  5. Conclusion

While the latest dispute between British Airways' management and employees was in 1997, the company has experienced the 2010's most significant dispute. It involved 12,000 members against the reduction in cabin crewmembers due to a bad financial position (loss of £1bn over the two previous years). In this way, strikes began, but were stopped by injunctions due to breaches along the process. The Union of employees appealed which had overturned the decision.

These strikes cost £27m to the company and disturbed 100,000 passengers. Moreover, these strikes involved more than the employer, employees and customers, but also media, political parties and government.

In this paper, we will follow and analyze the negotiation process in order to better understand why this led to such critical situation.

[...] Besides, Willie Walsh was seen as hostile with the Unite Union due to his reputation when he was hired: cost-cutter? (previously, he decreased of a third Aer Lingus staff). The integrative bargaining began when Keith Williams succeed to Willie Walsh. This new CEO is a better listener and understood the Union's positions by highlighting their main problem: need for significant changes in working practices?. References Lectures - David Milward cabin crew call off strike over Easter and royal wedding The telegraph Apr - Zoe Wookd and Dan Milmo ?Most british Airways crew are striking on behalf of the [...]


[...] However, in March, BA management decided to remove the travel perks and took disciplinary actions on workers who took part in the strike. At this moment, the Union's aim was about the restoration of travel perks and pay. Moreover, along the process, it highlighted a need of change in the industrial relations between BA management and the Union . This case is a collective bargaining; it means that it requires joint session during all the negotiation between the two group-parts in order to find an agreement in both interests. [...]

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