tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 10:14pm on 20/05/2010 under , ,
Watching the BBC News coverage of the BA/Unite legal action, it struck me that the BBC’s correspondents seemed to be espousing compromise as the only sensible path for BA and Unite to follow, and they emphasised that ACAS was ready to provide arbitration facilities. Maybe this is an editorial line that fits easily into the BBC’s centrist ethos, but it strikes me that it is hard to justify.

BA is a loss-making airline with a pension deficit that is nearly double its market capitalisation. It pretty obviously needs to make some tough decisions in order to resolve its financial problems, just as our LibCon government is going to need to do with the nation’s finances.

But if any changes an organisation tries to make are met with hostility, and end up being curtailed through a process of compromise, then presumably the implication is that the organisation should adopt a more extreme position initially, so they get the result they want after the compromise. This might be second-nature for those who spend their lives negotiating, but I want to believe that a business can and should be run in a way that involves practical business-led decision making, with an honest presentation of its position. Maybe it isn’t possible in a heavily unionised business; how can a company have a relationship with its employees if there is a third-party organisation in the middle?
location: St Andrews, Scotland
tobyaw: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] tobyaw at 10:14pm on 20/05/2010 under , ,
Watching the BBC News coverage of the BA/Unite legal action, it struck me that the BBC’s correspondents seemed to be espousing compromise as the only sensible path for BA and Unite to follow, and they emphasised that ACAS was ready to provide arbitration facilities. Maybe this is an editorial line that fits easily into the BBC’s centrist ethos, but it strikes me that it is hard to justify.

BA is a loss-making airline with a pension deficit that is nearly double its market capitalisation. It pretty obviously needs to make some tough decisions in order to resolve its financial problems, just as our LibCon government is going to need to do with the nation’s finances.

But if any changes an organisation tries to make are met with hostility, and end up being curtailed through a process of compromise, then presumably the implication is that the organisation should adopt a more extreme position initially, so they get the result they want after the compromise. This might be second-nature for those who spend their lives negotiating, but I want to believe that a business can and should be run in a way that involves practical business-led decision making, with an honest presentation of its position. Maybe it isn’t possible in a heavily unionised business; how can a company have a relationship with its employees if there is a third-party organisation in the middle?
location: St Andrews, Scotland

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