Job loss fear prompts BA cabin crew vote on industrial...

Job loss fear prompts BA cabin crew vote on industrial action as ‘performance’ scheme introduced

18 July 2016

About 8,800 BA cabin crew will be voting for industrial action over a new ‘bureaucratic’ performance scheme that has prompted fears over future job losses.

Members of the British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (BASSA), a section of Unite, the country’s largest union, will be voting for industrial action short of a strike in a bid to get management to suspend the introduction of the 'Dashboard Performance Management' scheme.

The ballot for the Eurofleet and Worldwide Fleet cabin crew, based at Heathrow airport, will open on Thursday (21 July) and will close on Wednesday 17 August. A consultative ballot has already shown that 94 per cent of BASSA members supported some form of industrial action.

Unite said that the introduction of the Dashboard policy was ‘a human resources fantasy project’.

The union called for the suspension so that meaningful consultations can take place, with guarantees over job security.

Unite regional officer Matt Smith said: “A perfectly adequate performance management policy already exists. Our members have already overwhelmingly indicated they want this Dashboard system suspended until their worst fears have been allayed through meaningful consultation, with guarantees over job security.

“In its current form this new Dashboard system means, as an employee, you are constantly given red, green, and possibly amber based on a never ending ‘continual improvement’ score which, we believe, eventually year-on-year will become impossible to achieve.

“This would then give the BA management an excuse to get rid of dedicated long serving staff.

“Quite frankly, this is an out of control human resources fantasy project and it is no surprise employees are pushing back against its ill-thought out introduction.

“I am always amazed how much companies are prepared to invest in new HR performance management polices when there is no clear evidence they actually achieve anything other than wasting the company money, creating employee stress and engendering a feeling of job insecurity.

“Our members would prefer to spend their time doing what they do best, which is giving the best service possible while ensuring the safety of BA customers.

“They want to continue delivering a billion pound operating profit for the company, rather than needless bureaucratic form filling on board the aircraft.

“If the vote is for industrial action, we would actually expect to see an improvement in service to passengers. We hope those on board will appreciate we are making a stand while avoiding unnecessary disruption to them as valued passengers.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Email: 

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.