BA jobs talks reach crucial stage

Talks on agreeing thousands of job cuts at British Airways as part of efficiency savings were reaching a crucial stage today as a union leader warned against any compulsory redundancies.

Talks on agreeing thousands of job cuts at British Airways as part of efficiency savings were reaching a crucial stage today as a union leader warned against any compulsory redundancies.

The airline is looking to reduce its 40,600-strong workforce by 3,000 on top of 2,500 jobs which have been cut since last summer.

Unions representing cabin crew, baggage handlers, check-in staff, pilots and other workers have been meeting the airline all week in a bid to reach a deal on jobs, as well as pay and conditions, with a deadline of June 30 to reach an agreement.

Mick Rix, national officer of the GMB union, said today: “GMB recognises that the position at BA is serious and GMB is actively and positively engaged in finding solutions.

“These solutions must be arrived at on a voluntary basis. Any form of compulsion will be met with a negative reaction.”

Mr Rix added that executive pay needed to be included in any agreement, after it emerged that BA chief executive Willie Walsh could pick up a potential £2.4m (€2.8m) in cash and shares this year.

BA has frozen the pay of its employees but hopes to achieve the job cuts through voluntary redundancies, natural turnover and other measures such as unpaid leave.

The aim is to cut up to 2,000 jobs among cabin crew and a further 1,000 among check-in staff and other administration grades.

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