British Airways “to cut thousands of cabin crew and re-hire them at half the salary”

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British Airways is reportedly planning to cut thousands of workers and re-hire them for half the salary due to controversial changes to new contracts.

The airline, which has already confirmed plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs, including 1,130 pilots, said it has started consultations with colleagues.

In a letter sent to staff a fortnight ago, British Airways defined new general conditions following the coronavirus pandemic.

It has now emerged that workers are also receiving layoff notices – which are scheduled to end on June 15.

BA’s cabin crew is divided into three parts: long-haul (heritage), short-haul (heritage) and a new, less-paid mixed fleet that operates long-haul and European flights.

However, the airline is currently in talks to bring everyone together into one working group at a lower salary.

Long-haul flight attendants based at London Heathrow will see the estimated salary cuts between 50% and 75%.

And those who refuse to sign could be fired.

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Those who refuse to sign could be laid off

Most senior crew members – customer service managers – are currently around £ 35,000, while some team leaders – customer service managers – can earn up to £ 80,000 a year. Meanwhile, the crew of the mixed fleet earns between £ 23,000 and £ 28,000 a year.

Under proposed terms, this could be rationalized to £ 24,000 for all.

“On June 15, I will be laid off from the position I love after 34 years of loyal service. Layoff notices are to be sent to 43,000 of my colleagues: the entire staff, “wrote a British Airways employee on Facebook.

She said the airline was preparing to let go of the workers and then re-hire them at a lower rate.

“31,000 lucky former employees will then be offered a new job on a much lower contract that the company has wanted to apply since 2010. For me, this would represent a 60% reduction in wages. “

A spokesperson for British Airways could not refute the allegations.

A British Airways statement said: “We are taking action now to protect as many jobs as possible. The airline industry is facing the most profound structural change in its history, as well as a severely weakened global economy.

“We are committed to openly consulting our unions and our employees as we prepare for a new future. “

The airline is already preparing to cut 12,000 jobs despite the fact that its owner has distributed £ 3.6 billion to shareholders in five years.

Sam Tarry, Labor MP for Ilford South, said: “They choose older and older crews, employees of 10, 20, 30 years. People have given their lives to this business … the shareholders have done a very brilliant job for a long time. “

Unite secretary general Len McCluskey has accused BA of using the crisis as a cover to cut jobs and wages.

He said: “No other employer has threatened to effectively” fire and re-hire “all of its staff. Meanwhile, BA paid billions to shareholders and took taxpayers’ money.

“It is nothing more than a cynical act of corporate greed and betrayal of the workforce and Britain. “

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