British Airways | Workers told to accept pay cuts or 'risk losing job'

Workers told to accept pay cuts or 'risk losing job'

The coronavirus pandemic has shaken up the world of work. Some organisations were forced to temporarily shut up shop while some key workers have continued to work throughout COVID-19.

The uncertainty brought around by the pandemic has caused many employers to place staff on the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), cut employee and executive pay – as has been seen at Bam Construction, Ryanair, BuzzFeed and others – and make some staff redundant to free up cash.

Numerous outlets have claimed that the airline firm British Airways (BA) has asked thousands of workers who have been placed on consultation to accept pay cuts of up to 60% if they wish to continue working for the organisation.

The Telegraph reported that workers have been told to accept these new conditions and have to sign new contracts or risk being made redundant.

This has caused uproar among workers who have hit out at the firm.

Speaking to Mirror Money, one employee who wanted to remain anonymous explained that they joined BA in 1987 as a steward based at Gatwick Airport.

"Since lockdown began I've completed flights to repatriate customers and to bring much needed freight to and from the UK.

"On June 17, 2020 I, along with my colleagues face being dismissed by British Airways if we do not consent to new contracts.

"This will involve a 60% cut in my current pay whilst increasing productivity by 25%. I would also be required to fly some short haul flights,” the worker told the publication.

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In addition to this, it has been reported that BA allegedly wants staff members to agree to a temporary lay-off clause in contracts which would enable the firm to suspend workers for up to six weeks per year without pay.

The news of this story has been heavily criticised on Twitter by MPs Jess Phillips and John McDonnell.

In a statement, the airline firm said that the business is “acting to protect as many jobs as possible”.

It added: “The airline industry is facing the deepest structural change in its history, as well as facing a severely weakened global economy.

"We are committed to consulting openly with our unions and our people as we prepare for a new future," Mirror Money reported.

BA prepares for job cuts

This news comes after various reports in April suggested that BA was set to cull up to 12,000 jobs as the aviation industry continues to struggle amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Financial Times previously reported that BA’s parent company, International Airlines Group (IAG), warned that returning to 2019 passenger levels that were observed pre-pandemic could take “several years”.

BA’s CEO, Alex Cruz said in a letter to BA staff: “The outlook for the aviation sector has worsened further.” Cruz added that the firm “must take action now”.

Image credit: Nick Morrish/British Airways

Comments (2)

  • Sir
    Wed, 3 Jun 2020 2:48pm BST
    Massive amount of detail essential to a rounded understanding of the situation is missing here - although I know that the "Sun Headline" (as I call it) of a '60% reduction in pay' is very attractive to a journalist in need of "a good story".
    Is this a 60% reduction in hourly rate ? - or is that figure an annual one, derived from including a 6 week unpaid lay-off and perhaps less overtime opportunity (at an estimated amount) and perhaps greater efficiency in schedules resulting in (estimated) fewer "allowances" being paid ?
    I would find it very hard to believe that it is a 60% reduction in hourly rate - but, even then, from what to what ?
    Still, nowt's so much fun as whipping up an emotional response based on partial information, eh ?
  • Jude Fawley
    Jude Fawley
    Wed, 3 Jun 2020 1:38pm BST
    See this is what happens when you recklessly shut an economy down and quarantine perfectly healthy people against a virus that is niether more deadly than flu for those of working age nor more deadly than life for anyone of any age. Jess Phillips and John McDonell ought to shake their magic money tree and make it rain cash.

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