15 March 2017
As many as 67 academics from across the UK have signed their name to an open letter backing British Airways’ (BA) workers taking industrial action.
The letter, published in the Guardian, detailed BA staff’s ongoing battle for fair pay, which has been bubbling under the surface since 2010, when the airline tried to impose weaker pay and conditions on its cabin crew.
A settlement was agreed in 2011, but this still meant accepting “vastly inferior contracts”, the academics explained, describing BA CEO Willie Walsh’s actions as an “apparent desire … to break their union”. Now basic pay is only £12,192 or £16,000 with allowances for the 4,000 “mixed fleet” staff at BA and they are once more in dispute over a “pay increase” that actually amounts to no more than 6p an hour on trips.
“In an amplified reprise of the events of 2009-11, BA is refusing to negotiate through Acas, in this case with Unite (the union for “mixed fleet”), having threatened to remove bonuses for 2016 and 2017 and banned staff travel concessions, while the crew have been compelled to take strike action, amounting to as many as 26 days,” the letter stated.
“The spurious excuse of a tough trading environment used in 2010 is wholly implausible now, given the parent company’s (IAG) recent declaration of £2bn pre-tax profit, an increase of one-third on the previous year. BA’s professional and committed workforce should not have “to fly, to starve”, while the CEO’s remuneration package soars to €8.8m,” they said.
Click here to read the full letter and signatories