Labor Tensions Flare at BA
- Labor relations continue to flare at British Airways, as several of its unions are refusing to negotiate with management on wage concessions. This follows weeks of contentious talks that caught the attention of members of parliament (see the June 8 issue of Skift Airline Weekly).
The Unite union says the airline is using the Covid pandemic as cover to make long-desired wage and staffing cuts. Employees, including pilots, are objecting to what they term a “fire-and-rehire” strategy to force employees to take lower pay and inferior benefits. BALPA, which represents the airline’s pilots, is urging lawmakers to ban the approach, calling it an “appalling industrial relations practice.”
Recall that IAG acted faster and more thoroughly than its peers in reworking labor contracts after the global financial crisis. Strikes at British Airways and Iberia were numerous in the early 2010s. But thereafter, IAG’s profits skyrocketed and its labor tensions eased.