27 July 2017

British Airways ‘facing’ fresh strike woes as airline and union clash over ‘plans to close’ pension scheme

BRITISH Airways is facing fresh strike woes over possible closure of its pension scheme as staff reps warn morale has fallen to “an all-time low”.

Members of its cabin crew are currently on a fortnight-long walkout over an ongoing dispute over wages.

PA:Press Association

British Airways could face fresh strikes of possible changes to its pension scheme[/caption]

And now The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association has launched a “dispute fund” in preparation for the “worst-case scenario” of more strike action to hit the airline.

A special levy of £1 per member per month is now being collected from its 10,000-strong association.

Sun sources suggest BA wants its New Airways Pension Scheme closed by next March.

A firm announcement is imminent and will trigger a 60-day legal consultation process.

Up to 80% of BA’s legacy crew – the older flyers on better pay than their “mixed fleet” colleagues – are members of the pension scheme.

It is feared BA will void each worker’s contract of employment to exclude the entitlement to the pension scheme.

PA:Press Association

Members of cabin crew are currently on a fortnight-long walkout over an ongoing dispute over wages[/caption]

BA could try to dodge industrial action by buying out members so they willingly sign up to the more recent British Airways Pension Scheme.

Unite said: “A company making in excess of a billion pounds profit should not be looking to close a scheme that members have supported for many years, and who have done so in the belief that it would secure a decent retirement.”

The union told staff: “It is right that your union prepares for all eventualities.

“Unite the union will fight using all the necessary industrial and legal means against any unjust and ‘greed driven’ pension attack.”

BA told The Sun: “We are conducting a review of our pension arrangements, but no decisions have been made. As a responsible company we are speaking with our unions and people about the review.”

Separately, in another example of simmering tensions, Unite has teamed up with the GMB union to create a petition urging BA bosses take a “change of direction”.

It states: “We are loyal BA staff who have been proud to work for the airline, but who are increasingly alarmed at the direction our company is taking and the impact the decisions arising from the change are having on the workforce and customers.

PA:Press Association

The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association has launched a ‘dispute fund’[/caption]

“Thus, morale is at an all-time low across the organisation.

The petition to senior BA management demands “a pause in further outsourcing” and “an end to constant cost-cutting and to re-invest in the staff and the customer.”

BA told The Sun: “We welcome the views and feedback of the staff who work tirelessly for our customers.  We are focused on investing for our customers and are constantly looking at new ways to improve what we offer them, whether that’s by utilising new technology, making efficiencies, or exploring new ways of working.”

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