Willie Walsh blows up ‘blind and deaf’ union as Qatar moves to rescue BA owner


BA announced up to 12,000 layoffs in April in response to the pandemic, which led to the grounding of all but a handful of flights.

Union leaders are angry at BA’s plans to “fire and rehire” some of the cabin crew, forcing those remaining at the airline to accept lower wages and working conditions.

“At the heart of it you have a union that has refused to accept that this is a crisis that needs to be addressed,” said Walsh.

“The Unite union has told everyone that this is a temporary problem that can be resolved with temporary measures. You have a union that is blind and deaf to the reality of the challenge we face.

“And anyone who doubts that it is enough to look at the numbers. A loss of £ 711million in one quarter goes way beyond anything that has happened. Burning money at the rate of 20 million pounds a day goes way beyond anything that has happened. “

He added: “The business must be in a different shape in the future than it was in the past. There is no point in going back to the way BA was. Because we never go back to this environment. It needs to restructure to ensure its viability in the future. “

Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey has urged IAG to back down from its “fire and rehire” plans.

“No other employer in the aviation industry is pursuing this path of industrial vandalism. [IAG] can afford to make better choices – it has billions in the bank and is even planning to expand by buying another airline, Air Europa, which is hardly a business on its knees, ”he said. -he declares.

“It has also chosen not to attack the workforce of other airlines in its group such as Iberia and Aer Lingus. So we cannot see his assault on BA workers as anything other than a deliberate and opportunistic decision to reshape the airline for the financial benefit of the boardroom.


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