Is it me or does the world get stranger by the minute?
Let's start with British Airways. Unite, the union, announced this week that the BA workforce have voted by a massive 9 to 1 to take strike action over Christmas. Unite's declaration and the size of the ballot - showing the anger among the workforce - took everyone by surprise. The strike was set to start on December 22nd and run for 12 days and at the centre of the proposed industrial action was the refusal of BA management to negotiate changes in the terms and conditions of their employees and simply impose them.
Now I am no lawyer but this seems to me to contravene convention 98 agreed by the British government and the United Nations that the union will have a right to collective bargaining.
While I would argue that a strike is the last thing any sane person would want, whether they be manager, employee or customer, I wondered, perhaps naively, why Lord Peter Mandelson hadn't intervened to point out the error of BA's management?
"Look chaps shouldn't we be adhering to Convention 98, the right to representation and collective bargaining?"
"Hell no Peter let's get the courts involved, get this damn nonsense declared illegal"
"But, what about democracy?"
"What about democracy? It has no place in the modern state, not real democracy anyway, gets in the way of business old chap, haven't you read Robert Reich? No we have to show these peasants who’s boss... get the courts onto it!"
And they did and the courts, in the form of a Mrs Justice Cox, decided that the democratically organised ballot was illegal because a few of those who took part were already leaving the company. Which would have meant that the union would only have won its ballot by 8.99 to 1, instead of 9 to 1!
"Outrageous! Make the strike illegal, Lord Mandelson?"
"Nothing to do with me, I just work for the government."
"Yes, good point!"Globespan
Following hard on the heels of the BA dispute Fly Globespan was put into administration leaving 800 of its workforce and thousands of its passengers stranded. One employee spoke of his revulsion of the company when he only found out via Facebook that he was no longer employed.
Many Globespan employees were left with no way of returning home from distant areas of the world like India and Saudi Arabia. Once again the employees were the last to know as Globespan's management pulled their cloaks of invisibility over their heads and left PriceWaterhouseCoopers to untangle the dreadful mess.
Many travellers, looking forward to spending Christmas with distant relatives or just looking for some Winter sun, were told not to travel to airports expecting to fly. Some who had paid by credit card were told they were unlikely to get their money back and to book other flights, which Ryanair and Easyjet, rubbing their grubby paws, and offered to take passengers at above their usual rates.
"We’ll help out" they cried in unison.
I checked the Globespan website earlier and there was no mention of management...I wonder why?Sun Glasses
My dog is lazing on his back by the radiator wearing his shades. He basks in the heat from the radiator as if he were lazing on some Spanish beach. I of course have the heat from the radiator blocked from me. I shiver, outside the temperature plummets, frost traces crazy patterns on the roof of the car, and I hear someone yell as they slip on the icy pavement.
"Brrrr, it is freezing in here, I can't get the benefit from the heater!" I say grumpily. The dog adjusts his position to ensure maximum heat rays on his tummy and sighs.
"Look at you!" I say irritated pointing at the dog "You look as if you are on a beach in Spain at the height of summer!"
He removes his sun glasses, glances patronisingly toward me and tells me with his eyes.
"Well you are allowed to dream, now lighten up!" and he returns to his heat absorption pose. Nuf Sed?Sergio Burns