British Airways pilots

British Airways sacks 350 pilots and puts 300 in ‘pool’ for possible rehire

British Airways has announced that it plans to cut 12,000 staff as its struggles to cope with the coronavirus crisis and has also angered unions by proposing new contracts for the workers it retains.

BA reached a deal with its pilots that will see 350 laid off and another 300 put in a ‘pool’ for rehiring when needed, The Sun on Sunday reported.

Once ‘pooled’ pilots return, operating flight crew members will get 7.5% of their deducted pay back, while the rest of the pay cut will be lost, the report added.

Unite, the union which represents BA cabin crew, has responded by lobbying for law to be changed to allow BA to be stripped of some valuable take-off and landing slots at London’s Heathrow Airport if it proceeds with it plans.

“If we let this company get away with this, then other companies will follow suit. There’ll be things people would like to do and they’ll use the crisis to do it,” Sharon Graham, Unite’s executive officer said.

British Airways, owned by International Consolidated Airlines Group which also owns Aer Lingus, Iberia and Vueling, said in an emailed statement that “constructive talks are ongoing with (UK pilots union) BALPA to save as many jobs as possible.”

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