By now, many of you may have seen the letter from Doug Caines, British Airways VP Ops, Safety and Business Development. In this letter, the company alleges that the Union has refused to negotiate and has terminated negotiation. They go on to state that, based on these alleged actions, the Union could take the membership out on strike. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Prior to our first negotiations session, the Union requested financial information so that we can properly prepare our proposals and be prepared to respond to company proposals. Since this request, there has been legal activity that leads to a concern that the financial documentation may not accurately relate to the operation expenses of our work groups in the USA. All the Union has requested is time to fully examine the documentation we have received and any responses to information requests we have made to the company. We have only indicated we are postponing negotiations. At no time have we advised the company that we are terminating negotiations.
As stated in previous bulletins, it is the responsibility of the Union to be fully informed on all on-going activities at British Airways. It is our members’ careers that are in risk and we need to do everything possible to protect our members. At this point, due to British Airways’ filing with the National Mediation board, the negotiation process and schedule will be directed by a federal mediator. During mediation, British Airways is forbidden by law from making unilateral changes in wages or working conditions. We will continue to demand that all relevant information be provided to the Union, and that issues regarding the impact of corporate misconduct on company finances be fully addressed as part of negotiations. The next step in the process is for the National Mediation Board to appoint a mediator, who will then schedule a meeting with the parties for negotiations. We will advise you once a date has been established. Meanwhile, we will continue to press for full disclosure of information necessary to bargain on your behalf.
PRESIDENT & DIRECTING