British Airways announced plans to recruit 1,250 new cabin crew this year on lower wages than existing staff to cut costs (AFP/Reuters/guardian.co.uk, 24-Jun-2010). The carrier forecast the new staff will form 40% of overall cabin crew in 10 years. The cabin crew will be recruited on a mixed fleet basis, working on short-haul and long-haul services, and will earn a salary “similar” to its London Gatwick crew. Cabin crew union, Unite, criticised the move. The union is concerned the new staff will ultimately take over routes with the most generous travel allowances.
British Airways: “We have suffered back-to-back record financial losses and need to continue making permanent changes to our cost base to ensure our long-term survival. It is common knowledge that our Heathrow cabin crew costs are way out of line with our competitors and much more than our cabin crew costs at Gatwick. We can no longer afford this cost difference. Alongside the changes we have already introduced, the recruitment of future cabin crew on more competitive terms and conditions is an essential part of reducing our costs. Starting recruitment for new crew is a step forward for the airline, which will enable us to make further improvements to customer service and position us for growth,” Spokesperson. Source: AFP, 24-Jun-2010.
Unite: “This will do nothing to persuade cabin crew that BA management is looking to resolve the dispute, and nothing to dissuade our members from voting for further industrial action,” Tony Woodley, Joint General Secretary. Source: AFP, 24-Jun-2010.