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3 AUGUST 2020

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Article from BTNews 3 AUGUST 2020

Len McCluskey and Alex Cruz in BA spat

If you were wondering how the discussions between the Unite union and British Airways (BA) were going, given that BA pilots have secured a deal (as noted in this issue) with the airline to minimise job cuts, the answer seems to be “could be better”.

Unite has published this letter from the General Secretary to the Chief Executive.

"Dear Alex,

I am in receipt of your email dated 26 July and I am both staggered and offended by your arrogance.

In the opening paragraph you state “it has taken this long for you to realise and accept this.”  This reference infers that I am only now understanding the financial difficulties that British Airways face. How dare you suggest such a thing. I have attempted for months to try to get you to understand the need to treat your workers with respect and dignity and this is the only way to get through this pandemic together. It is your staff, not you, that have for many years, built the good name of British Airways and contributed billions of pounds to its profitability year on year.

Your decision to adopt a scorched earth strategy with a ‘Fire and Rehire’ approach was always despicable. You and your management team have dragged the good name of British Airways through the mud. Have you ever asked yourself why so many MPs from all parties, at the highest level, have condemned British Airways or why newspaper and media outlets have been appalled at your actions? Perhaps you don’t understand that the British sense of ‘Fair Play’ runs deep in the psyche of the British people.

I am advised that no sooner are certain issues on process agreed then the company management renege on them, it beggars the question as to who is running the show – so much so that it is my intention to seek meetings with Antonio Vazquez Romero and IAG.

Also, please don’t insult me by asking ”how many of my members I have spoken to?” When you know full well that you have received thousands of heartfelt emails from your staff that you have ignored and or deleted without even reading. My shop stewards and reps speak to members constantly, dealing with the stress, anxiety and heart ache caused by your management style and strategy. Instead of criticising Unite reps, you should actually listen to them, instead of pretending to do so in order that you can tick some consultative process box and you might, at long last, realise that the only way to have a lasting peace and avoid months/years of industrial unrest is to work with us to achieve an acceptable way forward.

You have now published a timetable to Fire and Rehire thousands of your workforce on 7 August, we will work every hour between now and then, to convince you not to do so.

You can take this letter as our commitment to do that. However, you can also take this as an intention to defend our members by moving towards industrial action with immediate effect.

Yours sincerely,
LEN McCLUSKEY”

Business Travel News requested a response from the BA Chief Executive and the press office.  None was forthcoming.

www.ba.com

https://unitetheunion.org

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum


Mike Johnson, Cornwall

For many years British Airways has been the leader in Airline travel. Since the appointments of Spanish management the traditional British service has gone, now part Budget. I am not a union man but I fully support Unites letter to Cruz.


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