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Submitted By shann1323
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Running head: CASE STUDY: The british airways swipe card debacle

Case Study: The British Airways Swipe Card Debacle
MAN4741 – Change and Innovation Management
Fall 2013
November 24, 2013

Overview The case scenario details about a strike unleashed by British Airways (BA) staff because of a swipe card debacle. It started on Friday, July 18, 2003 when the staff of terminals 1 and 4 held a 24-hour wildcat strike at London’s busy Heathrow Airport. These staff of over 250 walked out at 4 p.m. The strike occurred during the holiday season which caused chaos. This strike also caused 60 departure flights to ground and over 10,000 passengers left stranded. This was the worst strike that they had ever faced since 1997 when a strike was called by the cabin crew. Everything was chaotic – they canceled services for terminals 1 and 2, apologized and had to tell those who were flying not to go to the airport. BA set up a tent for refreshments and police were called to control the crowd. BA was criticized by many Americans that they did not notify them of what was going on. The staff returned to work but the effects of the strike flowed throughout the weekend. Three days after the strike – the airline was still extremely busy and there were still at least 1,000 passengers to reschedule. BA lost 40 million pounds (British currency) and their reputation is severely dented. In connection to the change issue of the swipe cards, the staffs were protesting the introduction of a system for electronic clocking-in that would record when they started and finished work for the day. The staffs were concerned that the managers would be able to manipulate their working patterns and shift hours. The staff was triggered to strike due to the fact that the senior management of BA “abandoned talks over the introduction of smart cards and announcing their forced imposition at just five…...

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