On Wednesday night, aviation minister Kelly Tolhurst told MPs the airline should be stripped of its Heathrow airport slots as it plans 12,000 job cuts while taking advantage of the government’s furlough scheme.
She said the initiative is not designed so companies could both receive financial support and fire staff.
British Airways is exploiting this pandemic to slash jobs, pay and conditions.
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) June 3, 2020
In a letter to staff seen by Sky News, chief executive Alex Cruz said that while people are suggesting IAG uses its cash reserves, BA is burning £178mln every week.
“Others point to the support we have from the UK government’s Job Retention Scheme,” he was quoted as saying.
“It is very welcome but totals less than two days of cash burn per month as we continue to pay 80% of furloughed colleagues’ base pay without a cap.”
He invited workers unions GMB and Unite to battle against Tolhurt’s proposal, but they will not attend talks amid anger for the thousands of job cuts.
Unite’s general secretary Len McCluskey urged BA to withdraw Section 188 notice – which is expected to trigger the mass redundancies at the end of the month – before beginning discussions.
Withdraw the S188 notices and talk @British_Airways. Stop this industrial thuggery. Then we’ll sit down and talk. “Wherever, whenever” – @LenMcCluskey#BABetrayal#BAStopThinkAgain pic.twitter.com/QfZ5ap1dhS
— Unite the union: join a union (@unitetheunion) June 4, 2020
The unions previously accused BA of firing staff only to rehire them on worse terms and lower salaries.Cruz said the measure would be a threat to jobs, while the quarantine impositions to UK inbound travellers were “another blow to our industry”.
“I want to save as many jobs as possible,” he was quoted as saying.
“BA does not have an absolute right to exist. There are major competitors poised and ready to take our business.”
Shares in IAG rose 1% to 282.1p on Thursday at noon.
Published at Thu, 04 Jun 2020 11:22:00 +0000-IAG’s British Airways burns £178mln per week amid job cuts controversy