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Business

British Airways staff agree to work for free

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-25

Embattled carrier British Airways says almost 7,000 workers have accepted pay cuts, including 800 who have agreed to work for free for up to one month, to support the company's efforts to slash costs.

AFP - Troubled British Airways said Thursday that 800 staff had agreed to work for free for up to one month, forming part of almost 7,000 workers who had accepted pay cuts to help the carrier slash costs.

"800 opted to work for free," a BA spokesman told AFP.

BA added in a statement: "Nearly 7,000 British Airways staff have taken an early opportunity to apply for voluntary pay cuts in support of the airline's cost reduction programme."

"Of the 40,000-strong workforce, 6,940 employees had volunteered for unpaid leave, part-time working or unpaid work by June 24. Their actions will save the company up to 10 million pounds (11.7 million euros, 16.3 million dollars)."

The airline had unveiled the controversial plan in May, when chief executive Willie Walsh also promised to work for free in July.

"This is a fantastic first response," Walsh said on Thursday.

"I want to thank everyone who has volunteered to help us pull through this difficult period. This response clearly shows the significant difference individuals can make."

BA last month reported an annual loss of 375 million pounds owing to high fuel costs and slumping demand amid the economic downturn. The airline has cut 2,500 jobs over the past year.
  

Date created : 2009-06-25