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Lesson and Recommendations After British Airways Strike


Profitability is possible if the management protects the Company’s brand image while maintaining a good relationship with the workers. British Airways suffered major losses from the wild cat strike due to poor leadership that embittered the workers. Their loyalty and service to the BA were down-graded and treated unfairly with the imposition of swipe cards immediately after the redundancy study. The management’s ability to effectively manage employees could have given them a sense of self-worth and appreciation (Manuel 21). This calls for action planning in matters that affect them directly or indirectly.

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Key issues behind the strike

British Airways, sought to bring change by introducing Swipe card for effectiveness and efficiency in resource and staff management. They wanted to simplify work by using the best system available. They did not communicate and inform the workers about the new policy of clock – in making them, feel unrespected and harassed with new rules after the redundancy study. They felt neglected and their efforts un-appreciated. In sense-making, they didn’t convince workers of the importance of the card. Workers felt the motive was ill, yet not consulted neither were they informed in time arguing of the short notice. Change management was not factored in with workers complaining of a radical shake-up in the hours worked, without extra pay for disturbance. However, the management sought to make some changes but this was after the strike. They felt the change dehumanising and insensitive considering the poor relationship with the management. On the other hand, the Company didn’t have a contingency plan making them spend a lot of time and resources in restoring the image after the strike. If they had one, they could have taken less time and resources in the prevention of the strike. Finally, the processual aspect required a carefully planned step-by-step procedure that would help in implementing. This was not as elaborate; there was no consultation to help understand the staff’s mindset on the card.

Lesson and recommendations of the British Airways strike

For organisational development, information needs to be released and communicated effectively to all the staff. Policies should be communicated first to the workers and fully explained as this would go a long way in bringing understanding. In sense-making, consider each staff category especially women who strive to balance between work and home. The policy developed should cater to all equally. In contingency, hire on permanent basis strike-breakers who will stand-in. Engage professionals to persuade staff not to join the unions; equally certain categories of staff can be described as un – unusable with certain privileges. In processual, utilise collective bargaining and collaborative discussions to avert future strikes.

The best way of understanding the swipe card issue

British Airways Company, failed to study the mood of workers, with management being aloof and managers giving misleading information. The recently concluded redundancy study was followed by the swipe cards that resulted in bitterness. The company was insensible to the workers, did not give enough details and reasons behind the introduction of the card. The leadership failed in following step by step procedure to orient the staff about the new changes. They failed to anticipate any likely resistance and take remedial measures.


The British Airways Company Management must take the employee through an efficient inductive process using effective and sensible communication methods that allow room for feedback while giving enough space of time. Contingency preparation is vital and the timing of introducing new policies should not coincide with the peak season to avert major losses. Change management is non-imposition but develops to suit the system and the workers in general. Rational decision-making is vital. The assumption is a recipe for employee dissatisfaction.

Work Cited

Manuel, Velasquez. Business Ethics-Concepts and cases, London: Prentice Hall, 2006.

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"Lesson and Recommendations After British Airways Strike." StudyCorgi, 26 Nov. 2021,

1. StudyCorgi. "Lesson and Recommendations After British Airways Strike." November 26, 2021.


StudyCorgi. "Lesson and Recommendations After British Airways Strike." November 26, 2021.


StudyCorgi. 2021. "Lesson and Recommendations After British Airways Strike." November 26, 2021.


StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Lesson and Recommendations After British Airways Strike'. 26 November.

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