British Airways is giving a 20% pay cut to Heathrow cabin crew. The airline’s move is part of its cost-cutting plan.
Due to the coronavirus lockdown, the airline had to cut up to 12,000 jobs. The airline had to cut down the wages and bring them down. As compared to its rivals in order to survive the crisis caused by the pandemic.
However, Amy James, head of inflight customer experience, emailed cabin crew in the so-called “legacy fleets” working the European and Worldwide routes to outline what she called the “pay protection proposal”.
British Airways is planning to ground its legacy fleets operations. As the pay was highest and it will combine all cabin crew into one new unit.
In Amy James’s email, she said: “Our proposal would guarantee that if you secure a corresponding role in our new team, we will safeguard your basic pay at least 80% of your current rate.”
However, she was referring to the staff’s basic pay. Crew members who were getting extra pay in allowances in the legacy fleets. Will end up losing around 30% of their overall package. Some are currently earning a basic of around £70,000.
However, under the airline’s pay cut plan, it is not giving pay cuts to all its staff members. The airline will be giving a rise of around 40% in the basic salary of cabin crew who are lower paid and younger ones.
James wrote: “This pay protection proposal provides a ‘soft landing’ into a new aviation industry that’s very different to what many of us have known in the past, and enables you to adjust to the changes we need to make if we are to compete effectively and be fit for a different future.”
No Correspondence With the Union
However, the airline showed concern and said unite the union has not attended any of the 24 meetings scheduled by the airline. Moreover, they also did not respond to proposals formulated to finding a solution for making things better during the crisis the industry is facing.
James said British Airways is communicating with the staff directly. As a union is not taking part in any of the meetings or responding to the matter.
A Unite spokesman said: “We have consistently called on BA to withdraw the threat to fire and rehire the entire workforce. No other airline has done this. We want to enter sensible negotiations but will only do so once they withdraw that threat.”
Restructuring The Crew
However, currently, British Airways own three cabin crew fleet. One is the Euro Fleet, second is the Worldwide Fleet and, the third one added in recent years, the Mixed Fleet. The latter group consists of newer staff generally on lower pay.
The airline will be restructuring its crew. It will be combining the three cabin crew fleet into one with cabin crew earning a basic £28,000, lead cabin crew £31,000, and managers on £38,000. Those for whom the new levels represent a bigger cut than 20% will have their pay individually adjusted upwards.
The airline’s original cuts of up to 12,000 across the airline would be the same. As the airline is offering voluntary redundancies, part-time working, unpaid leave offers, and the use of a talent pool. The staff made redundantly would be given the first refusal for deployment to other roles in the airline.
However, British Airways has currently employed 14,000 cabin crew.
In a statement later, BA said: “We are acting now to protect as many jobs as possible. The airline is facing the deepest structural change in its history, as well as facing a severely weakened global economy.
“We call on Unite and GMB to consult with us on our proposals as our pilot union Balpa is doing.”