Friday, August 07, 2020


The airline industry in recent years had already embarked upon policies of wage and staff cuts. The present pandemic now offer many airlines cover for much more draconian changes of employment conditions. 

British Airways is to cut 12,000 jobs and says 6,000 staff have "volunteered". Many employees were told if they did not accept the offer of voluntary redundancy they would have to apply for a job and if she did not get it she would only receive a statutory redundancy payout. If you don't take the offer, you'll go into the fire-and-rehire phase', but if we aren't hired, we'll get only statutory redundancy.

An engineer who helps maintain BA's long-haul aircraft at Heathrow explained, "Let's be realistic", he says, "No-one is going to take someone in their 50s and train them up when they can get a 20-something instead. It's not going to happen." He says many of his colleagues are in a similar position - and the worry is proving an unwelcome distraction at work. "I've been walking around checking an aircraft prior to departure, and I find I can't remember what I've been looking at - so I have to do it again," he added. "I can't see how you can be expected to work like that. But this process is being driven by accountants, and they can't see further than their noses."

Most of those who remain will suffer steep pay cuts, changes to their terms and conditions, and reduced allowances which top up their base salaries. For longer serving crew it would mean a cut in basic salary of 20%. But because they will also lose other allowances, many say they will see their overall take-home wages drop by 40% to 50%.

The general secretary of Unite, Len McCluskey described the company's strategy as "despicable".

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