British Airways to 'axe 4,000 staff' today with others facing pay cuts

BRITISH Airways is to "axe 4,000 employees" today, while many of those who keep their jobs face pay cuts of up to 20 per cent, says Unite trade union.

The airline said that more than 6,000 workers have applied for voluntary redundancy as the airline struggles to stay afloat amid the coronavirus crisis.

Cabin crew, engineers and airport staff are among those receiving letters from Friday revealing what their future at the airline will be.

In April British Airways warned that it needed to cut 12,000 jobs to save the business from going under as many holidaymakers ditch flights in favour of staycations.

It's not clear whether the latest round of job cuts are part of the 12,000 previously announced or in addition to them.

The airline, which employs 42,000 people, insists it is trying to "protect as many jobs as possible".

Around 40 per cent of cabin crew who will keep their jobs will get a small increased in their salary, the PA news agency understands.

Others will see their basic pay cut by 20 per cent, although many claim their total earnings will be reduced by as much as 50 per cent due to other changes to the terms and conditions of their jobs.

What are my redundancy rights?

BEFORE making you unemployed, your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.

You are entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you've been working somewhere for at least two years.

How much you're entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You'll get:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
  • One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
  • One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.

Sadly, you won't be entitled to a payout if you've been working for your employer for fewer than two years.

There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.

You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.

Trade union Unite, which represents thousands of British Airways staff including cabin crew and engineers, has accused the airline of "industrial thuggery".

A report published by the Commons' Transport Select Committee described the airline's treatment of its workers as "a national disgrace".

Pilots have voted to accept a package including job and pay cuts aimed at avoiding a larger number of redundancies.

Their union Balpa said there will be around 270 compulsory redundancies and temporary pay cuts starting at 20 per cent and reducing to 8 per cent over two years – before falling to zero over the longer term.

Unite said it would accept the same deal if it was available, but British Airways says Unite and another union, GMB, failed to attend consultation meetings held during the past three months.

British Airways is operating less than 20 per cent of its schedule due to the drop in demand and travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.

It does not expect demand for air travel to return to pre-crisis levels until at least 2023.

IAG announced last week that it made a pre-tax loss of 4.2 billion euro (£3.8 billion) in the first six months of the year.

British Airways said in a statement: "Our half year results, published last week, clearly show the enormous financial impact of Covid-19 on our business.

"We are having to make difficult decisions and take every possible action now to protect as many jobs as possible.

"And, while we never could have anticipated being in a position of making redundancies, more than 6,000 of our colleagues have now indicated that they wish to take voluntary redundancy from BA."




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