The BA strike is slightly unique in that the airline managed to weather the crisis by hiring replacement crews, which might get dicey both legally and politically in other countries. BA also managed to win the public relations battle early byfairly or unfairlypainting their employees as overcompensated. The union even had trouble lining up pro-labor politicians, with Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown blasting them so he could stay on the right side of the recession-plagued British public. The situation might well play out differently in more sympathetic countries.
But the fundamental, overarching, we-never-get-tired-of-repeating-this dynamic doesn't change as you move outside the UK. There isn't enough money in the airline industry to go around right now. Union negotiators pretty much know that andeven worse for themairline representatives know that they know it. So while the Lufthansa pilot strike that we've been telling you about is still set for mid-April, we're kind of skeptical that it will work out in their favor.
Then again we didn't think the BA cabin crews would strike either. We figured along the lines of "hey, it's pretty obvious that a walkout would be counterproductive for the union since it will just demonstrate their powerlessness while needlessly alienating the British public, so they probably won't do it." Shows what we know.
[Photo: garybembridge / Flickr]