Coronavirus: BA pilots vote to accept employment contract involving layoffs as airline faces ‘huge challenge’ | Economic news


British Airways pilots have voted to accept a deal that will include job losses and pay cuts to avoid more layoffs, their union said.

The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa) said there would be around 270 mandatory layoffs and temporary pay cuts starting at 20% and decreasing to 8% over two years.

In the longer term, compensation will return to normal levels.

Walsh: “It will cause pain for everyone”

The aviation industry is in dire straits as the COVID-19[feminine[feminine The pandemic has interrupted many flights, causing the collapse of some carriers, state bailouts and tens of thousands of layoffs.

BA proposed 12,000 layoffs, including 1,255 lost pilot positions, and also threatened to fire and re-hire the remaining pilots in worse conditions.

Balpa said 85% of its members voted for the new deal negotiated with BA.

“Our members took a pragmatic decision under the circumstances, but the failure to persuade BA to avoid all mandatory layoffs is bitterly disappointing,” said Brian Strutton, General Secretary of Balpa.

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The chief executive of British Airways owner, IAG, Willie Walsh, has defended the cuts to the airline and warned of the challenges posed by the coronavirus the pandemic “will cause pain for everyone”.

“I admit it’s a big blow. It’s a really worrying time for everyone, ”he told Sky News’s Ian King Live program.

“It’s not just about cabin crew, it’s about everyone in the airline and we want to make sure we can get our customers back on the flight, doing what we do best, as quickly. as possible, but doing so in a way that will secure our future. ”

He added: “Anyone who argues that this is opportunism, or that we don’t need to do this or that can be resolved with temporary measures seriously underestimates the extent of the challenge the industry is facing. confronted.

“We need to act, not only to survive this crisis, but to make sure that we can secure as many jobs as possible in the company in the future. ”

A BA spokesperson said the airline faces a “huge challenge” as it battles the coronavirus crisis.

“We don’t expect our business to return to 2019 activity levels until at least 2023, so we need to act now to reshape our business for a very different future,” they said.


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