British Airways – no pay, but no jobs guarantee

Thursday, June 25th, 2009 - career management, credit crunch, economics, Employer, Employment, politics, recruitment, redundancy


British Airways – no pay, but no jobs guarantee

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British Airways has announced today that in response to their request that 30,000 workers work for nothing for up to 1month:

  • 800 will working for nothing for one month
  • 4,000 workers are taking 1months unpaid leave
  • 1,400 people have volunteered to work part-time
  • Chief executive Willie Walsh had already agreed to work unpaid in July, forgoing his month’s salary of £61,000

The UK national flag carrying airline, which lost £401M in 2008, says the move will save £10m. There will also be further unpaid offers from BA later in the year.

No Jobs Guarantee

I am not surprised by the balance of the numbers, with most staff taking unpaid leave. I am sure a month with the children in July/August at the peak of the summer holiday rush will again result in BA’s passengers having happy holidays with no baggage. I am just surprised that any staff are taking any unpaid leave with no job security guarantee.

When Honda workers took two months out, they were told that it would preserve their jobs for 18months. The BA workers have accepted an unpaid holiday.

I think it is also more surprising that workers accepted the deal, when Virgin boss Richard Branson has already placed his marker out there and said that the UK Government should not bail out BA, in the way in which they have bailed out the banks and some car manufacturers.

Wait to see how this one works out, but the subdued Union responce to the initial call seems to suggest that BA is in more trouble than is publicly being admitted at present. A reliance on Business Class passengers, and particularly bankers flying between the two great finance centres either side of the trans-Atlantic route – in a downturn has clear consequences.

Good Luck!

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