Unite asks BA to think again as 9 out of 10 BA cabin c...

Unite asks BA to think again as 9 out of 10 BA cabin crew vote for industrial action over flawed ‘performance’ system

17 August 2016

BA management was today (Wednesday 17 August) urged to drop its new controversial ‘unfair’ performance scheme, after its cabin crew voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action in protest.

Members of the 8,800-strong British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (BASSA), a section of Unite, the country’s largest union, voted by a massive majority of 91 per cent for industrial action short of a strike.
Cabin crew say that the new performance management scheme is a needless replacement for the existing, functioning system and have real concerns that its introduction masks a hidden agenda of future job losses which will hit passenger service on the premium carrier.

The union said it would not be announcing the dates of the industrial action until discussions take place with its BASSA representatives. The action will include non-completion of specific performance management processes.

Unite called on BA to think again over the introduction of its Dashboard Performance Management scheme, which the union believes could lead to unfair job losses in the future.

The ballot was of the Euro Fleet and Worldwide Fleet cabin crew, based at Heathrow airport. A previous consultative ballot had already shown that 94 per cent of BASSA members supported some form of industrial action.

Unite has already branded the introduction of the Dashboard policy as ‘a human resources’ fantasy project’.

Unite regional officer Matt Smith said: “Our members have voted overwhelmingly against the introduction of this flawed Dashboard scheme.

“The BA management should note the enormous strength of feeling against this policy with what, we suspect, is a hidden agenda of future job losses. A perfectly adequate performance management policy already exists.

“There is a window of opportunity here for BA to allay our members’ fears and change direction. A number of major companies are moving away from performance management appraisal schemes such as this.

“Cabin crew work together achieving the high-level of service and professionalism that our members give to BA’s millions of passengers 365 days-a-year.

“It is completely unfair to expect them to be placed in a league table, competing against each other, over on board issues that are clearly out of their control.

“Hopefully, on the back of this result, BA will reflect and realise this new costly appraisal system that creates this amount of unhappiness in its employees has clearly already failed.

“Cabin crew time spent on these wasteful performance schemes is crew time not giving passengers value for money in a highly competitive premium market.

“Ironically customers may see an improvement in service to passengers during this action. We hope those on board will appreciate we are making a stand whilst managing to avoid 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.