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Published on Monday, June 15, 2020

Unite calls on CMA to get tough on BA

Unite is asking competition authorities to address concerns about British Airways' dominance on some transatlantic routes.

It is demanding the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) toughens up proposals to curb BA's 'anti-competitive' behaviour.

The CMA is currently investigating a proposal from BA and its partner American Airlines to address competition concerns about their dominance on routes from London to Dallas, Philadelphia, Miami and Boston.

Unite has submitted evidence showing that if accepted, the proposals will have little or no real impact on the airlines' dominance of either the transatlantic market in general or the specific routes which are subject to investigation.

Unite argues the number of slots offered is inadequate, the deal does not have rigid enough conditions to be meaningful, and it is based on an out-of-date analysis in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Unite executive officer Sharon Graham said: "For decades BA has held a privileged position where its dominance of the prestigious transatlantic routes has been accepted. This was understandable while BA played the part of a national carrier, focused on premium service, delivered by valued and respected employees.

"If BA continues with this astonishing 'fire and rehire' attack on its own workforce, it will inevitably change the airline forever. In this context, we should now be looking at the privileged position that BA holds over many transatlantic routes.

"BA should not be allowed to get away with business as usual on the back of decimating terms and conditions of employment."

BA declined to comment.

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