British Airways denies lack of staff consultation

British Airways’ director for people has denied the company
failed to consult staff before introducing the controversial swipe-card system
that prompted the wildcat strike by check-in workers.

Neil Robertson said the firm was looking at how to improve
staff communication following recent events, but he stressed that BA had worked
closely with unions for the previous 12 months about the introduction of the
swipe cards.

The dispute, settled last week, was sparked when 2,500 staff
walked out on 18 July starting a two-day strike in protest at a new automatic
time recording (ATR) system, costing the airline an estimated £30-40m.

Speaking exclusively to Personnel Today, Robertson,
said: “The airline has been working for 12 months to try and reach a resolution
on this issue.

“Throughout this period we have been continually
communicating with our staff about what ATR is about and we have sought to
reassure them that there is nothing to worry about.”

The GMB, Amicus and T&G unions had objected to ATR
because of members’ concerns that the electronic clocking on system would be
used to push through other changes to pay and working conditions.

However, Robertson said: “We have reassured staff it will
not mean sending them home during quiet periods or bringing in annualised hours
by stealth.”

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