Over 6,000 workers accepted voluntary redundancy, but the airline let go another 4,700 staff on Friday in a bid to boost savings as the industry is ravaged by the coronavirus crisis.
Cabin crew and ground staff were offered one of three options: being made redundant, having to sign a new contract (most likely with worse conditions, with some risking to lose £20,000 annually) or keep their job with their existing contract.
Those who are being let go were offered to enter a fast-track talent pool when new roles are available.
The job cuts sparked outrage both in the Labour and Conservative benches and among workers' unions. Protestors also gathered in Manchester and Reading at the weekend.
It’s been moving, heartbreaking and deeply shocking listening to the stories of loyal staff who’ve given their all to #BritishAirways and the passengers (like me) cared for over the years. You don‘t deserve this and we will continue to give you your voice. Stay strong and united. https://t.co/lPooTUElCf— Huw Merriman MP (@HuwMerriman) August 7, 2020
BA’s treatment of its workers is a betrayal of everything the company has stood for over the years as the national flag carrier.Using Covid as a cover for its long held aim of cutting jobs,wages & conditions is a disgrace. Just as bad the Government has stood on one side & let it https://t.co/9OufHzUOSx— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) August 7, 2020
“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,” said Howard Beckett, assistant general secretary at workers’ union Unite.
“This is a business that made record profits last year. It has predicted that it will return to health in two to three years - and it even has the money to buy another airline, Air Europa. It has the cash to afford to make different choices, as can be seen by how it is conducting itself with its Iberia and Aer Lingus operations, but instead is using this crisis to remodel what was once the flag-carrier as a low-cost airline.”
Last month, BA agreed with the pilots’ union 270 compulsory redundancies, while the number of pilots shrinks to a ‘holding pool’ of the equivalent of 300 pilots employed on reduced pay and ready to return to flying as demand picks up.
With parent IAG reporting a cash burn of £178mln per week, BA had originally proposed to make up to 1,255 pilots redundant.
Shares in IAG added 5% to 194.63p on Monday at noon.