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Mediation Experts comment on BAA and Unite's Dispute
A leading conflict resolution consultancy is urging BAA and the Unite Union to engage in constructive talks to avert strike action that would bring travel chaos to millions of airline passengers.
The call comes following the rejection by Unite union members – including firefighters, security guards and engineers – of BAA’s pay offer of 1%, plus another 0.5% if certain conditions are met. BAA has described this offer as ‘reasonable’, given the effects of recession and the volcanic ash cloud crisis earlier this year. A previous consultative ballot on the pay offer resulted in 9 in 10 of those voting rejecting it.
“It’s a great shame that this dispute has got this far,” says David Liddle, Founder and Director of Total Conflict Management (TCM), the UK’s foremost provider of business, employment and workplace mediation services.
“We urge both sides to take this opportunity to sit down together and engage in open dialogue in order to find long-lasting solutions. It’s important they can do this to avoid unnecessary difficulties for many people: staff, managers and – not least – millions of airline passengers.
“We have years’ experience of resolving difficult conflict in many organisations. Such experience has shown that having these conversations may be difficult, but is always the best way to find an agreement that is truly long-lasting and mutually satisfactory”.
The proposed strike by staff – including security guards and ground staff – at Heathrow and five other airports could force BAA to shut airports by the August bank holiday, despite the fact that the union must give a week's notice of stoppages.
“We understand that Unite is likely to seek further talks with BAA. We would be delighted to be of assistance to both sides in this process – and feel that our unique and proven FAIR mediation model could offer something that has been missing in the negotiations to date. We would also be happy to work with both sides to help them embed the principles of conflict prevention and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) into the systems, processes and culture of their organizations.”
TCM strongly encourages all organisations to consider the benefits of this approach. There are significant financial savings to be made through reduced employments tribunals and grievance procedures (which cost the UK an estimated £33 billion per year, according to the CBI). There are other key benefits in the reduction in staff absenteeism, the increase in productivity and long-term operational planning, and a growing working culture of respect, trust and responsibility.”
Notes to EditorsFor further information and to request an interview, please contact Tim Segaller on 0207 092 3193
TCM is the UK’s foremost provider of business, employment and workplace mediation services. Since 2001, it has provided high quality dispute resolution services, courses and events.
TCM is a founder member of the Professional Mediators’ Association (PMA) www.pmauk.org, which is recognised by CIPD and HM Government as being dedicated to promoting professional standards for workplace and employment mediators. All of TCM’s mediators and trainers are full members of the PMA and undergo regular professional development and review of their practice. TCM is also fully registered with the Civil Mediation Council (CMC).
TCM’s comprehensive range of complementary mediation and dispute resolution services include:
- Setting up internal mediation services for organizations
- Independent mediation between individuals or within teams and groups
- Accredited training for workplace and employment mediators
- Dispute resolution skills training for HR, managers and other staff members
- Independent and professional investigation services
- Conflict management coaching for managers and executives.
TCM’s clients range from major blue chip companies including BT, Shell, American Airlines and HSBC to large and complex government departments including the Cabinet Office, Department for Work and Pensions, Ministry of Defence and Department for Culture Media and Sport. TCM have developed mediation schemes in public sector organisations up and down the country including NHS Trusts, Universities, Councils and Police Forces. Recently, its international work has involved developing conflict resolution systems for Amnesty International and the European Patent Office