Amid the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, British Airways might lay off a total of about 12,000 staff. Management has manifested that a number of those layoffs may be pilots.
The airline currently has about 4,300 pilots, about a quarter of which might be at risk of being licensed. The current number now stands at 1,080, which the union is opposed to. The initial number of pilots was 955.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has sent a letter to members outlining British Airways’ stance. British Airways would like to change the terms of its contract with pilots:
“Crucially it states that if BA and BALPA are unable to reach an agreement, the company would seek to force changes by terminating the employment of all pilots and offering individuals new contracts with associated new terms and conditions. We cannot begin to describe the level of disappointment and annoyance this has caused.”
“This calls into question whether BA is even capable of conducting industrial relations properly and whether anything they say can be trusted.”
British Airways’ negotiations with pilots comes weeks after the company outlined plans to change the contracts of some of its flight attendants.
In the past, the airline had a few different flight attendant contracts, something the airline seeks to simplify. One side effect is that many senior flight attendants will be getting permanent pay cuts in the range of 30-50%, or maybe more.
British Airways has had difficult labor relations in the past. The company saw the need to renegotiate some of its contracts in the aftermath of the economic downturn caused by the pandemic.