Belfast Telegraph

BA staff balloted on industrial action over performance system

By Neil Lancefield

Around 8,800 British Airways cabin crew will be balloted on whether to take industrial action over a new performance scheme amid fears it could lead to job losses, a trade union said.

The UK's largest trade union, Unite, described the introduction of the Dashboard scheme as a "human resources fantasy project".

It claims the system could create targets which are "impossible to achieve".

British Airways operates a small base at Belfast City Airport and flies direct to London's Heathrow.

Members of the British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association (Bassa), a section of Unite, will vote on taking industrial action short of a strike.

The ballot for the Eurofleet and Worldwide Fleet cabin crew, based at Heathrow Airport, will open on Thursday and close on August 17.

Unite said a "consultative ballot" of Bassa members has already shown 94% support for some form of industrial action.

Matt Smith, a regional officer at Unite, 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."

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