Published on Friday, April 3, 2020

Union approves BA proposal to lay off staff



British Airways has reached an agreement to lay off tens of thousands of workers during the coronavirus crisis after admitting that it expects to operate only 10% of its scheduled flights during April and May.

The airline's parent IAG also confirmed that it won't pay its shareholers a dividend this year to save €337 million.

Unite the union said it had agreed a deal with BA which will see the airline introduce a modified version of the government's job retention scheme, so staff will be furloughed with 80% of their pay but without the £2,500 cap on earnings.

Also, Unite said BA workers will be able to divert their pension contributions of between 9% and 18% of their pay.

It said that as part of the deal BA had agreed no staff would be laid off without pay and there will be no redundancies during this period.

Also, the redundancy process that had already begun has been halted.

Unite national officer for aviation Oliver Richardson said: "Given the incredibly difficult circumstances that the entire aviation sector is facing this is as good a deal as possible for our members.
"The deal protects the jobs of BA staff and, as far as possible, also protects their pay.
"This is what can and should be done to protect workers during this unprecedented time for the airline sector."
The deal has been submitted to BA staff for their approval. 

BA is believed to be looking to suspend 36,000 workers.  Many are expected to sign up to various volunteer programmes as part of the airline's efforts to fight Covid-19.

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