UNITE yesterday welcomed a Scottish parliament motion lodged by Neil Findlay MSP drawing attention to the crisis facing BA workers.
The company has served BA workers with a Section 188 notice which effectively sacks 42,000 workers to bring the workers back on considerably worse terms and conditions.
The measure will also cut up to 12,000 staff. The union’s ‘BA Betrayal’ campaign has alerted companies including Barclays in Glasgow about BA’s betrayal of its workforce.
Neil Findlay MSP said: ‘British Airways is acting in a despicable way by using the Covid-19 crisis to sack and then attempt to re-engage workers on massively reduced pay and much poorer conditions.
‘This is a company that has accepted huge taxpayer funded loans and furlough money throughout the crisis and is opportunistically using the cover of Covid-19 to attack its workforce. BA should withdraw these threats immediately.’
Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty added: ‘BA is using the Covid-19 pandemic as a cover to slash jobs, pay and conditions.
‘No other employer has threatened to effectively “fire and rehire” its entire workforce. Over 40,000 loyal BA staff face the imminent prospect of losing either their livelihoods or potentially being re-interviewed for their own jobs on vastly reduced terms and conditions.
‘We hope that all parliamentarians in the Scottish parliament unite to send a message to the company that their behaviour is totally unacceptable and they must withdraw these grotesque proposals.
‘BA’s parent company IAG is still pressing ahead to buy another airline Air Europa for over a billion euros, while claiming to be in financial difficulties. How is it possible to claim financial hardship while buying a new airline?
‘Workers in Britain who are responsible for two thirds of IAG’s profits are being sacrificed for the benefit of shareholders.’
- The UK is likely to be the hardest-hit by Covid-19 among major economies, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has warned.
Britain’s economy is likely to slump by 11.5% in 2020, outstripping falls in other developed economies of Germany, France, Spain and Italy, it said. If there were a second peak in the pandemic, the UK economy could contract by 14%.
The OECD described the impact as ‘dire’ everywhere.
In response to the think-tank’s report, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘The unprecedented action we’ve taken to provide lifelines that help people and businesses through the economic disruption will ensure our economic recovery is as strong and as swift as possible.’