Jump to: how is BA betraying its mixed fleet
British Airways are using this terrible health pandemic to make drastic and unnecessary permanent cuts. BA is a wealthy company that can probably afford to ride out the crisis. Yet they have chosen to take taxpayers’ money whilst decimating their British workforce. It is a disgrace that they are allowed to still carry the British flag.
Is BA using the Covid-19 crisis as cover?
Yes. There is no doubt that the airline industry faces short-term problems that require short-term solutions. However, BA are not looking to make temporary changes. They are using the crisis to dust off an old plan to make permanent, drastic cuts to jobs, wages and conditions. Why can’t the changes be temporary and reversed as revenue returns?
What have BA done so far?
BA is threatening to terminate its entire workforce of over 42,000 employees. Under these proposals they will only allow workers to return only if they accept drastic cuts of up to 70% of their wages, by mid-June.
How many jobs are at risk? How big are the proposed pay cuts?
BA is planning to make 12,000 workers permanently redundant and those rehired will face pay cuts of up to 70%.
Is BA acting responsibly? Have any other employers acted like this?
No. BA is not acting responsibly. Unite negotiates with over 38,000 employers and not one of them has acted so opportunistically in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.
Are labour costs a real problem for BA?
No. People are not the problem. In 2019, workers accounted for less than one quarter of BA’s costs. Fuel is traditionally BA’s most expensive outgoing and is now far less expensive than it was before the crisis.
Can BA afford to keep people on?
Yes. BA will not go bust and they can afford to keep on their staff without permanently cutting wages.
BA was making massive profits prior to the crisis and has substantial reserves that will likely be sufficient for it to weather the storm until the end of 2021. BA have also accessed £300 million from the UK’s Covid-19 finance facility and the owners IAG have accessed €1 billion from the Spanish Government.
Has BA been paying Shareholders?
They’ve paid out over €4 billion over the past 5 years (€2.3 billion of ordinary dividends plus €1 billion of share buybacks in years 2017/2018 and a one off special dividend of €700 million in 2019). This is a considerable amount of money for a company that was valued at €10 billion at the time.
What does Unite want from British Airways?
* Withdraw the Section 188 notice and threat of dismissal
* Negotiate in good faith with Unite
* Agree for any proposed changes to pay, terms and conditions to be temporary and to be returned in line with increased revenue
Whilst nurses saves lives
Whilst companies push to make PPE
BA plot to use the crisis to permanently cut pay and conditions