British Airways confirms 10,000 job losses
British Airways has, this week, confirmed that over 10,000 staff will lose their jobs. The move comes as the airline’s parent company, International Airlines Group, announced a record, half year loss of £3.8bn, following a drop in passenger numbers of 98% between April and Jun,e due to impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the travel industry.
While job losses are slightly lower than the original figure of 12,000 announced earlier this year, there may be more to come as British Airways attempts to weather the Coronavirus storm.
The company has attempted to minimise the blow by offering voluntary redundancy, which has been accepted by 6,000 staff. However, a further 4,000 staff will find out in an email from the company today that they no longer have a job.
The scale of redundancies has incensed union bosses and could lead to calls for industrial action, further alienating customers at a time when British Airways needs to do everything it can to lure them back. Unite has accused BA of ‘industrial thuggery’, saying that staff have been, “forced out by company greed”. Commenting for Unite, Howard Beckett, the union’s assistant general secretary, said, “This is a very bleak day for the incredible BA workforce and will go down in the history of the airline as the day that it put the interests of the boardroom ahead of its passengers and workforce.”
Airport staff, engineers and cabin crew will all be impacted by today’s cuts, while pilots will be spared, having recently reached a deal with British Airways, which saw them accept a pay cut of 20%, with the reduction reducing to 8% in two years and eventually to 0%, in return for a reduction in the number of compulsory redundancies.