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.”