Anger rises as British Airways cuts start to bite

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Thousands of long-serving cabin crew at British Airways are expected to find out on Friday whether or not they will be made redundant.

Many of those who remain will suffer steep pay cuts, and significant changes to their terms and conditions.

Other workers such as engineers, ground crew and office staff are also expected to hear whether they have a future at the airline over the coming days.

British Airways says more than 6,000 staff across the business have applied for voluntary redundancy.

The airline has begun culling employee positions as part of a major cost-cutting drive, which it insists is vital to ensure its long-term survival.

But the way in which it has done so has provoked deep resentment among a large proportion of its workforce – and threats of industrial action.

‘Absolutely gutted’

“I’m looking at losing 50% of my take-home pay”, says Vicky – a cabin crew member who works in BA’s long-haul fleet.

“I’m a single mother. I can’t afford to have half of my pay taken away from me”.

Vicky – not her real name – is in her mid-thirties. She has been with the company for more than 15 years.

Although she lives in the north east, she was among hundreds of staff who travelled to BA’s headquarters near Heathrow earlier this week, to vent their anger at the company’s management.

“It’s the most stressful time I’ve ever been through”, she says. “I feel absolutely gutted”.

Job cuts plan

British Airways, like other airlines, has suffered deeply from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In the three months to the end of June it lost more than £700m.

For weeks, at the height of the lockdown, the bulk of its fleet was grounded, and it was unable to operate more than a handful of planes each day.

The company does not expect the aviation industry to recover fully until at least 2023.

Source: BBC

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