Embattled airline British Airways says it will cut the equivalent of 1,700 jobs through voluntary departures and switches to part-time work. The British carrier is also planning a two-year pay freeze as part of aggressive action to stem losses.
REUTERS - British Airways said on Tuesday it would cut the equivalent of 1,700 staff in the United Kingdom and was planning a two-year freeze on basic pay for cabin crew.
As part of the changes, the loss-making airline said that from November it would change the way it rostered airborne staff, flying airplanes with one fewer cabin crew member but still above minimum safety limits.
It said it had consulted with staff on the moves and was not altering anything that required negotiation.
But a union source said the roster alteration was in effect a change to staff contracts, adding the move could bring industrial action nearer.
The airline said it had made its announcement after failing to reach an agreement with unions representing 14,000 cabin crew in spite of nine months of talks.
It said 1,000 cabin crew had volunteered for redundancy and a further 3,000 had opted to switch to part-time working, in a reduction equivalent to the loss of 1,700 positions.
"Without changes, we will lose more money with every month that passes. It is essential we make ourselves more efficient if we are to ensure our long-term survival," the airline added.
Date created : 2009-10-06