An independent enquiry will look into the recent crisis at Heathrow as a power outage crippled the BA operations at Heathrow last week. National Grid claimed that there were no power issues at Heathrow over the weekend, whilst BA contends that the ‘problem’ was solely down to power not by its IT system…reports Asian Lite News
British trade union GMB seeks an independent inquiry into the cause of the Heathrow power outage that left 75,000 passengers stranded. The union also wants a moratorium on any further BA IAG plans to outsource a further 600 direct employed BA IT jobs.
A whistle-blower meanwhile told Press Association that BA had been hit by power outages in the past, and a serious fire 20 years ago, but the system was always resilient enough to be protected by its skilled and professional IT personal.
“Large problems like this happen, but now is the time to rectify by bringing the outsourced jobs back to the UK,” GMB said. “And keep those highly skilled Jobs in the UK, with Britain premier flagship carrier.”
The meltdown that took place suggests a disturbing lack of resilience in British Airways’ IT systems now that they are a part of IAG Global Business Solutions operations. In the past when BA controlled and directed its own IT operations, it was the envy of the IT industry, and which they invested in training, planning and simulation for every system failures.
BA in a statement said: “We would never compromise the integrity and security of our IT systems. IT services are now provided globally by a range of suppliers and this is very common practice across all industries and the UK Government. The incident on Saturday was not an IT issue, it was a power issue. There was a total loss of power at the data centre. The power then returned in an uncontrolled way, causing physical damage to the IT servers. It had nothing to do with outsourcing of IT. We are undertaking an exhaustive investigation to find out the exact circumstances and most importantly ensure that this can never happen again.”
GMB contends that the company needs to invest in such future resilience, robustness and recovery solutions, which can only be done by having dedicated IT employees, who know the business operations.
“GMB welcomes BA’s commitment to an independent investigation and it is only right and proper that GMB has a seat on that inquiry to ensure that the information and views from our skilled IT members on the front line is properly put forward, and taken on board by BA IAG,” said Mick Rix, GMB National Officer for Aviation. “National Grid has been explicit that there were no power issues at Heathrow over the weekend, whilst BA contends that the ‘problem’ was solely down to power. Clarification of these blurred positions must be a key part of the inquiry.
“It is counter-intuitive to think that sending vital IT and other business functions thousands of miles will not affect the resilience of the BA IAG operation.
“BA is Britain’s premier flag carrier, it is a global brand, and fly’s the flag on its tailfin all over the world. It is not in the interests of this great company, its customers, investors, and the thousands of people it employs, that it further risks a successful business model, because of a lack of resilience.
“That is why there should be an immediate moratorium on any more offshoring and those key functions which have gone, and which should be brought back to the UK, where they belong.”