BA director implies cabin crew ‘skive’ during summer months

A
British Airways (BA) director has angered cabin crew by implying a rise in
absenteeism in summer is due to skiving.

Mike
Street, BA’s operations director, who was speaking at the company’s annual
meeting, said the rise in sick leave had forced the airline to charter other
aircraft to keep passengers airborne.

He
said BA were encouraging staff to move onto part-time contracts as part of a
cost-cutting scheme, and part-timers tended to "take that extra day",
especially around the time of Ascot, Henley and Wimbledon.

This
comment caused resentment from cabin crew inside the auditorium, as well as
those outside who were protesting about BA’s compulsory retirement age of 55
for cabin staff.

The
Times newspaper has reported that BA’s directors are in talks with Iberia, the
Spanish airline, over a possible merger, as Brussels moves closer to
liberalising airline takeover rules.

By Michael Millar

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