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In an explosive email leaked by the Daily Mail, Mr. Cruz (above) claims that left winger Mr. McCluskey, the head of Unite, wastes members’ subscriptions on an anti-BA campaign that is ransacking the brand
The British Airways boss accused Len McCluskey’s union Unite of snubbing over 165 meeting invitations to the airline’s job cuts.
CEO Alex Cruz disagrees with the union over BA’s plans to cut thousands of workers.
He told his 42,000 employees that his goal was to save as many jobs as possible.
But he said his efforts were blocked by the unions, which turned down many requests for the meeting.
In an explosive e-mail leaked to the Daily Mail, Cruz also said that left winger Mr. McCluskey, the head of Unite, wasted members’ subscriptions on an anti-BA campaign that was wreaking havoc on the brand.
Cruz told staff, “We sent them proposals in good faith, but we heard nothing. If you are represented by GMB or Unite, I encourage you to think about their position and ask them to come and speak to us. “
BA announced in April its intention to cut up to 12,000 jobs and change the conditions of 30,000 employees.
Cruz believes he could cut the layoffs to 8,000 or 9,000 with union cooperation.
However, large-scale cuts are inevitable as the company, which belongs to the Anglo-Spanish giant IAG, loses around £ 175 million a week.
With the vast majority of its aircraft immobilized since the virus, BA operated at only five percent of its normal levels in April and May.
Passenger numbers are not expected to reach pre-pandemic levels until 2023 or 2024.
Cruz believes the workforce must be reduced to avoid the short-term cash crisis and because BA will be a smaller operation in the future.
The company has taken out £ 300 million in loans from the Bank of England to support big business during the pandemic.
However, it faces foreign rivals who have been bailed out to a much greater extent by their governments.
“BA has no absolute right to exist. There are big competitors ready to take our business, ”wrote Cruz.
“It is therefore of great concern to me that GMB and Unite refuse point blank to join any discussion on mitigating the proposed layoffs. “
Mr. Cruz said he hoped Mr. McCluskey (above) and his team “will start attending [meetings with the airline] rather than spending members’ money on a public relations campaign to undermine the British Airways brand. ”
Cruz added that the company was already working “constructively” with the Balpa pilots’ union, which is said to have seen confidential details about BA’s financial situation.
Balpa officials are said to have had an “oh s ** t” time when they realized the magnitude of the business’s difficulties.
In his email, Mr. Cruz added, “We don’t disagree with the unions. We need their ideas and we need them to represent you. This is what unions do when jobs are threatened. They don’t leave. “
Unite has launched a campaign called “BA Betrayal”. He says the airline is exploiting the Covid-19 crisis and is motivated by “corporate greed.”
The union has screened anti-BA slogans at night on landmarks across the country, including The Angel of the North, Marble Arch and Harrods in London and the Scottish Parliament.
Mr. Cruz said he hoped Mr. McCluskey and his team “would start to [meetings with the airline] rather than spending members’ money on a public relations campaign to undermine the British Airways brand. “
McCluskey says he wants to start discussions.
With the vast majority of its aircraft immobilized since the virus struck, BA only operated at five percent of its normal levels in April and May.
However, he declined unless the company agreed to withdraw a section 188 notice – as part of a legally required process to start counting down the proposed layoffs.
BA argues that she cannot afford to stop the timer because she loses huge sums every week.
McCluskey said, “BA has used the worst health crisis in a century to fire and re-hire its workforce.
“The workers who survive will be brought down on far lower contracts. No other company has behaved this way.
“I have said many times that my door is open and we are ready to have a sensible discussion at any time. It is a company with lots of cash, solid assets and long-term debt. “