MORE than 2,000 easyJet pilots (99.9%) have voted overwhelmingly to express no confidence in the company’s Chief Operations Officer, Peter Bellew.
BALPA, which organised the ballot following the airline’s poor handling of the fall-out from the coronavirus crisis and the collapse in pilot morale following Bellew’s appointment, said the result showed there is a serious and widening rift between easyJet pilots and the airline’s senior management.
Peter Bellew was previously Chief Operations Officer at Ryanair and only joined easyJet in January this year.
A statement from the union read: ‘It is absolutely vital that easyJet takes immediate steps to restore trust in the senior management team that has completely broken down.
‘This means treating the easyJet pilot community and their representatives with respect and negotiating honestly and in good faith.
‘BALPA maintains that the 727 UK pilot job losses proposed by easyJet is a completely unrealistic figure. EasyJet’s pilots have now clearly demonstrated their desire to stay united and fight for every single job.’
Meanwhile, British Airways has begun its ‘fire and rehire’ programme of sacking all its 42,000 employees and re-hiring 30,000 of them on vastly inferior terms and conditions.
The formerly nationalised airline’s management sent out ‘notifications’ to employees last week giving them a deadline of early August to agree to massive cuts in pay and conditions if they want to be considered for holding on to their jobs.
A two-tier payment system was agreed by the Unite leadership in 2010, leading to the creation of a ‘Mixed Fleet’ cabin crew section at BA on vastly inferior pay and conditions.
Now BA has said it wants all cabin crew on Mixed Fleet rates or worse in the future and senior cabin crew have been informed that if rehired it will be on pay and conditions cuts of over 20%.
The same levels of pay cuts will apply to drivers, baggage handlers, loaders and other ground staff, with employees also being required to accept an annual mandatory month of unpaid leave, amounting to a further 8% pay cut.
Unite has pledged not to engage in formal talks with BA until it removes its ‘fire and rehire’ threat.