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British Airways Threatened With Staff Strike Action For Pay Cuts

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The staff of British Airways may go on strike following a memo leaking that showed that the airline is planning major salary cuts during the New Year, as well as base pay off of performance. The details of “Project Columbus”, the codename of the shake-up, are in a confidential document that the Daily Mail came across. According to the memo, the costs of cabin crew at the London Heathrow Airport are not competitive in comparison to their main competitors, and restrictive and complex agreements with cabin crew have begun to create a barrier and inefficiency.

British Airways is also targeting the replacement of existing agreements, as well as bringing in pay based on workers’ performance. Any new staff will be placed on the new terms and conditions automatically. The carrier is trying to remove the inefficiency and complexity of the current cabin crew agreements at London Heathrow, while attracting staff with competitive costs. The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association, which is part of Unite, has tried to persuade their members to resist these plans, and they say that it means the existing workers will be left high and dry.

The carrier intends to also change the culture of the company by making it based more on merit and skill, which will be enabled with pay related to performance and promotions based on merit. A spokesman for British Airways blamed the trading environment, which is the worst the industry has dealt with, on the new move. They have to offset the challenges, as well as identify the areas in the airline where they can cut costs, he said.

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