British Airways' Labelled 'A National Disgrace' By the U.K. Parliamentarians

British Airways' treatment of staff during the corona virus pandemic was branded as "a national disgrace" by the MPs.

British Airway's Labelled 'A National Disgrace' By the U.K. Parliamentarians
BA labelled a national disgrace by the MP's. Photo: British Airways

The airlines move to cut up to 30 percent of its workforce and rehire them on new terms and conditions was accused by the U.K. parliamentarians. 

A Transport Select Committee report accused the airline saying the airline attempted to take advantage of the pandemic by cutting jobs and rehiring them, downgrading terms ans conditions.

However, British Airways said it was doing so to keep "the maximum number of jobs."

British Airway's Labelled 'A National Disgrace' By the U.K. Parliamentarians
BA has a strong workforce of 48,000 employees. Photo: British Airways

Huw Merriman, chair of the committee criticised the depth of the cuts being made by British Airways. Regarding, BA's move, he said:

"It falls well below the standards expected from any employer, especially in light of the scale of taxpayer subsidiary, at this time of national crisis."

"This wanton destruction of a loyal workforce cannot appear to go without sanction by government, parliamentarians or paying passengers who may choose differently in future. We view it as a national disgrace."

British Airway's Labelled 'A National Disgrace' By the U.K. Parliamentarians
Photo: British Airways

BA plans a major restructuring, which could mean up to 12,000 job cuts and changes to terms and conditions of remaining staff.

The airline is in talks with unions over these controversial job cuts, as it is experiencing one of the worst period in its long history due to the impact of the corona virus pandemic.

The airline also warned unions that if it could not reach an agreement over the proposals it would push through the issue by giving staff notice and offering them new contracts.

British Airways Threatens To Fire All Pilots, Fights U.K.'s Quarantine Rule
BA's pilot's union Balpa criticized the airline. Photo: British Airways

The GMB and Unite are not engaging in talks with the airline. However, British Airways pilot's union British Airline Pilot Association (BALPA) has been in continuous talk with the carrier over the number of pilots it employs.

The carrier has been negotiating a planned reduction of 1,130 pilots represented by Balpa, and has also sought to dismiss an additional 125 pilots, the union said.

Photo: British Airways

Brian Strutton, the general secretary of the pilot's union said in an email:

"This has seriously undermined our talks, which now hang by a thread. It calls into a question whether BA is even capable of conducting industrial relations properly and whether anything they say can be trusted."

The special committee said airlines should not "proceed hastily with large-scale redundancies" until October, when the job retention scheme ends and the government launches its aviation recovery plan.

Photo: British Airways

In response to the report, the carrier's spokesperson said: 

"The government has no plans to help the sector restart and recover as evidenced by the introduction of the 14 day quarantine regulation."

"We find ourselves in the deepest crisis ever faced by the airline industry. A crisis not of our making but one which we must address," the airline added.

British Airways Threatens To Fire All Pilots, Fights U.K.'s Quarantine Rule
Quarantine rule in U.K. came into effect from 8th June. Photo: British Airways

The MP's report also urged the government to abandon its 14-day quarantine rule at the end of June, which came into effect on Monday (8th June).

However, airlines are protesting against this new rule and also have appealed the government's decision. 

British Airways' parent IAG SA wrote to Procurator General Sir Jonathan Jones, the government's most senior legal officer, to start a process to block the measure,which could lead to a lawsuit. 

British Airways Threatens To Fire All Pilots, Fights U.K.'s Quarantine Rule
BA is burning 20 million pounds per day. Photo: British Airways

This new quarantine measures would affect BA's plans to resume about 40% flights in July, and would also force the carrier to continue burning 20 million pounds ($25 million) a day.

Do you think BA's moves is right? Are you one of the BA staffs affected by the issues raised in the story? Share with us in the comments below: