BA steps up industrial thuggery

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British Airways cabin crew on a previous dispute. They are now faced with redundancy or worse pay and conditions

FROM TODAY all 42,000 British Airways workers who have not signed up for voluntary redundancy will be regarded by BA as being willing to accept new contracts on September 1st!

This act of dictatorship is taking place while BA workers are protesting against plans by the company to cut up to 12,000 jobs nationally and impose new wage cutting contracts on the remaining workforce.

Dozens of protestors gathered outside Darlington Town Hall yesterday afternoon as part of the ‘BA Betrayal Campaign’.

They chanted ‘No ifs, no buts, no British Airways cuts!’

They demanded that Darlington MP Peter Gibson join over 100 MPs from across political parties to sign a pledge calling for a UK government review of landing and take-off slots in response to BA’s ‘fire and rehire’ project.

The company have been accused by protestors of using the coronavirus pandemic as a cover to impose a long-term plan to ‘fire and rehire’ the majority of its staff in order to impose on them inferior terms and conditions, whilst making up to 12,000 redundant.

This project comes at the same time as British Airways parent company, IAG is in the process of buying Spanish airline Air Europa which is valued at over one billion euros.

Now protestors want the company to be stripped of its privileged access to UK landing and take-off slots and then nationalised.

Unite said: ‘British Airways have pushed ahead with project fire and rehire regardless. They have been propped up by government money on the furlough scheme and their parent company IAG is trying to buy a new airline in Spain as we speak.

‘Obviously this means they don’t need to carry out the project fire and rehire.

‘They have consistently refused to engage with the union.

‘Nearly 170 MPs have signed the pledge for the review of their take-off and landing slots, and we’re here today to ask our local MP, Peter Gibson, to sign the pledge too.’

Sharon Graham, Unite executive officer who is behind the BA Betrayal campaign said: ‘Over 100 MPs have signed the pledge and the number is growing by the day.

‘MPs can be confident that they have the backing of the British public who overwhelmingly oppose BA’s project.

‘BA workers face a unprecedented attack on their jobs, pay and conditions in the middle of the worst health crisis in a century. Meanwhile, the airlines owner IAG is pressing ahead to buy a Spanish Airline valued at over one billion euros.

‘There should be consequences to BA’s actions. The company is essentially creating an unrecognisable airline – it should not automatically control over half the landing slots at Heathrow. It is simply wrong for BA to continue to have privileged access to legacy landing slots whilst its workforce is sacrificed for the benefit of IAG shareholders.

Peter Gibson MP said: ‘The protestors’ voices do have merit.

‘I think it’s dreadful that British Airways have used the pandemic to mask the company’s shift into redundancies … I have great sympathy for all those who have lost their jobs, it is a very sad situation.’