British Airways (BA) will cut 1,700 jobs and introduce a two-year pay freeze for cabin crew, it has been announced.
The airline would also press ahead with plans to recruit new staff on different terms and conditions to current employees, in a bid to save costs during the recession, the BBC has reported.
BA lost £401m last year, and announced earlier this year it would need to cut 2,000 full-time jobs to cope. Last month unions warned such a move would result in strike action at the airline.
The airline said today the job cuts would involve 1,000 cabin crew taking voluntary redundancy and a further 3,000 choosing to go part-time, and would take effect from the end of November.
Last month, the firm announced all temporary cabin crew would lose their jobs by the end of October.
In a statement, BA said: “Revenues are down, so we must reduce costs and restore profitability.
|Tom Flanagan says there are, broadly speaking, three ways to force through unpalatable changes in employees’ terms and conditions. Whilst pay freezes will not normally have contractual implications, pay cuts will.|
“Without changes, we will continue to lose more money with every month that passes. It is essential we make ourselves more efficient if we are to ensure our long-term survival.”
The Unite union criticised the cuts and warned BA staff in an email that “you can rest assured it won’t be the last [job cuts].”
The airline has been in negotiations with unions since the summer about the best way to cut staff costs.
In June, BA wrote to its 40,000 staff asking for volunteers to work for free for a month.
The group said it had received a positive response as 800 workers volunteered to work for nothing, but this sparked fears that a two-tier workforce would emerge.