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British Airways Rejects Plan to Cut Jobs

July 6, 2009 By: Jena Tesse Fox


British Airways workers have rejected the airline's plans to reduce costs by cutting thousands of jobs, The Telegraph is reporting.

At a meeting on Monday, the staff, including cabin crew, said they were not prepared to accept what the union described as an "assault" on their pay, terms and conditions. BA had set a deadline of June 30 to reach a deal on nearly 3,500 job cuts, a pay freeze and other changes, but no agreement was reached.

Conciliation service Acas will now chair a meeting between BA and unions on Wednesday in a new attempt to break the deadlock.

BA's boss, Willie Walsh, has warned that the airline faces the toughest-ever trading conditions and asked workers to either take unpaid leave, work part time or work unpaid. The Irish chief executive is working for free this month. As of June 24, 6,940 of the 40,000-strong workforce had agreed to one of the options.

Like its rivals, BA is suffering during the downturn and slumped to a record pre-tax loss of $647 million in the last financial year. The workers at the meeting said they would back a union plan that officials claim could save between $161 million and $210 million. Unite said it was prepared to consider a two-year freeze on pay, which it said would save $80 million, as well as reviewing the job of the purser among cabin crews.

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