British Airways: Stop shafting your 42,000 staff (signed by BA customers)

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British Airways management have issued redundancy notices to their entire UK workforce i.e. 42,000 staff. They plan on firing 12,000 staff and re-hiring the remaining 30,000 on inferior terms and conditions.   It is ethically outrageous that BA are pushing this immoral and greedy action at a time of crisis, particularly given the fact that British Airways made £1.5bn of operating profit in 2019.

For some this means losing their job - unable to support their families; pay their bills.  Those lucky enough to stay will have their pay and terms slashed - cabin crew are reporting this could be a cut of up to 60%.

This is an incredibly worrying time for everybody in the aviation industry, and the UK economy as a whole. We know that COVID has caused a record drop in air passenger demand and all agree that the airline will need to be fit for the future.  However, British Airways is acting in a callous manner - inflating the number of job cuts due to 'efficiency changes' - using COVID as an excuse to push through changes to employment terms that they have wanted to do for many years.

We fly with British Airways because we value the excellent service provided by your staff on the ground and in the air. Over the past few months they have risked their health by processing and transporting PPE and urgent equipment, as well as operating crucial repatriation flights. Your staff have been very committed to the brand, customer and have been truly proud to work for the company, many for decades.

BA management: if you turn your back on your staff, we will turn our backs on you.

From, Loyal customers of British Airways

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The detail:-

  • On 28th April, British Airways sent “Section 188” letters to three unions which represent 35,473 of its staff. In addition to making at least 12,455 redundancies, BA wants staff who remain to accept pay cuts and new terms and conditions.  For some cabin crew this represents a 60% pay cut.
  • On 3 June, British Airways extended this to pilots, threatening to fire 4,300 pilots only to rehire some again on less than desirable contracts in the future.   
  • British Airways made £1.5bn of operating profit (after extraodinary items) in 2019. British Airways parent company IAG claims that the company is cash strapped. BA account for 12% of IAG costs and deliver 66% of its profits.
  • IAG has simultaneously bought Air Europa for 1bn Euros.     Willie Walsh claimed this was an 'Iberia purchasing decision'. Iberia made £491m operating profit in 2019, less than half of the cost of purchasing Air Europa.
  • Accounts show that between 2011 and 2019, Willie Walsh (CEO of IAG) collected £33million in salary, bonuses and pension payments. In other terms, Willie Walsh earns 18,000% more than a member of main cabin crew under the proposed new terms and conditions (assuming they work full-time and achieve the targeted amount of variable pay).
  • Alex Cruz, CEO of BA, has not participated in any interviews with the media since the news broke in April.
  • British Airways has said they are committed to consulting with the unions 'in good faith'. British Airways has furloughed 22,000 staff as part of the Job Retention Scheme.  Those staff are now being subjected to a consultation period, while furloughed.