Negotiations between unions and BA over pensions break down

The GMB has issued a veiled threat of strike action to British Airways after talks about the airline’s pension scheme broke down.

BA has warned the shortfall in its pension fund could reach £2.1bn, more than twice the previous estimate of £928m – despite the company having doubled its contributions.

The airline proposed making a one-off additional contribution of £500m into the fund, retaining the final salary scheme, but raising the age of retirement from 60 to 65.

The GMB refused to accept the offer, instead proposing a pension cap of £50,000 per year for all BA employees, including managers and directors.

Talks, which GMB warned would be the last, will resume on 11 October.

Ed Blissett, national officer for GMB members working for BA, said there had been no progress.

“BA failed to provide the details of the savings that GMB’s proposals for the scheme would reap. We estimate the saving to be in the millions,” he said.

“The talks continue next Wednesday at Heathrow at high noon, appropriately enough, as they will be the last as far as we are concerned.”

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