More than 10,000 British Airways staff to lose their jobs as airline scrambles to cut costs
- More than 6,000 employees across business applied for voluntary redundancy
- A further 4,000 were due to be told yesterday that they were being laid off
- Unions branded the day ‘Black Friday’ and accused BA of ‘industrial thuggery’
More than 10,000 British Airways staff are being made redundant as the airline scrambles to cut costs to survive the
In a sign of the brutal cuts workers were facing at Britain’s flag carrier, more than 6,000 employees across the business applied for voluntary redundancy.
A further 4,000 were due to be told yesterday that they were being laid off.
In a sign of the brutal cuts workers were facing at British Airways, more than 6,000 employees across the business applied for voluntary redundancy
Many of the remaining staff will suffer steep pay cuts and will see significant changes to their contracts.
Long-serving cabin crew claim they could lose up to 50 per cent or 60 per cent of their income from the shake-up – which caps the amount cut from their basic pay at 20 per cent but will strip out a number of take-home allowances.
Unions branded the day ‘Black Friday’ and accused BA of ‘industrial thuggery’. BA has been at loggerheads with cabin crew unions Unite and GMB over the job-cutting plans, which it insists are crucial to its long-term survival.
BA’s owner IAG plunged to a £3.8billion loss during the first six months of the year after the number of passengers on its flights fell by 98 per cent in the second quarter.
The company is planning to raise £2.5billion of emergency funding, backed by its largest shareholder Qatar Airways, to shore up its finances as it fears it could take until at least 2023 for business to recover.
Rivals including Virgin, Ryanair and Easyjet are all planning to cull jobs and slash spending to survive the crisis as they face months of lower passenger numbers.
IAG boss Willie Walsh has said Covid-19 is the biggest crisis the airline has ever faced.
A British Airways spokesman said: ‘We are having to make difficult decisions and take every possible action now to protect as many jobs as possible.’
The airline said back in April it could axe as many as 12,000 jobs to help it stay afloat during the coronavirus crisis. This is around 17 per cent of its 42,000-strong workforce.
The company has several different crew divisions – which it calls ‘fleets’ – that operate as separate units with their own contracts.
It wants to put all crew on the same terms and conditions that will see staff who have joined in the last decade potentially get a small salary increase.
Those who the company chooses to make redundant will have the option of entering the airline’s priority return pool of workers and will be fast-tracked into any roles that become available.
But unions have blasted the move as a ‘fire and rehire’ strategy.
The tussle with cabin crew unions comes after pilots voted to accept a deal hashed out between BA and pilot union Balpa.
The airline had originally planned to axe around 1,250 of its 4,300 pilots – but this has been cut to 270 because remaining staff will take pay cuts for three years.