Fleur has written to the Prime Minister and Willie Walsh, Chief Executive Officer of International Airlines Group (IAG) opposing the planned redundancy of 12,000 staff from British Airways.

Fleur
Fleur's Letter to Willie Walsh
Fleur
Fleur's Letter to the Prime Minister

FULL TEXT BELOW:

Mr Willie Walsh
Chief Executive Officer
International Airlines Group Waterside (HAA2)
Harmondsworth
UB7 0GB

2 June 2020

Dear Mr Walsh,

Your Recent Letter

I was in receipt of your recent letter dated 27th May.

While I appreciate your update and engagement, your letter has failed to convince me that the course of action you are taking is reasonable or warranted.

I have many BA employees in my constituency – some of whom have served your company with great pride for 20 years – and they have effectively been told their years of service means nothing.

Of course, I fully accept that the aviation sector is facing the worst downturn in its history. However, now the Government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until October there is simply no excuse to take this course of action. The purpose of this scheme is to save jobs and protect livelihoods and render unnecessary mass redundancies. To utilise this taxpayer funded scheme and then announce 12,000 redundancies is deeply, deeply unacceptable.

While the furlough scheme remains in place, you simply cannot claim that this is a decision of the last resort.
Moreover, rehiring 30,000 staff on reduced terms is grossly unfair. Any staff that are rehired must be rehired on a fair and sustainable salary and strict protections on working conditions.

So I implore you, put your hard working staff at the front and centre of your Coronavirus survival strategy and use the support the Government has offered you.

Yours sincerely,

Fleur Anderson Member of Parliament for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields


Rt. Hon. Boris Johnson
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of
Great Britain and Northern Ireland
10 Downing Street
Westminster,
London SW1A 2AA

2nd June 2020

Dear Prime Minister,

International Airlines Group (IAG) & British Airways Redundancies

I hope this letter finds you well.

  • You will no doubt be aware that IAG/BA are reportedly planning on making 12,000 British Airways (BA) staff members redundant, in addition to reemploying 30,000 on reduced pay and worse conditions , and that these decisions could be taken in the next few weeks.This is despite the Company having already furloughed these staff members at the taxpayer’s expense through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and in spite of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s recent extension of the CJRS until October, which I called for and welcomed.

    I have many BA staff members in my constituency, many of whom have served BA for 20 or more years, and they are incredibly worried about their livelihoods, their families, and their futures.

    The Chief Executive of IAG, Willie Walsh, recently wrote to me, however he failed to convince me that the course of action he is taking is reasonable or warranted, particularly within the timeframe he has set out. I am very concerned that the employment rights of BA staff are at risk in this process, and that thousands of loyal BA staff are they are being made victims of this crisis unnecessarily.

    I urge you to intervene and offer further advice, support and also direction to IAG/BA to prevent this crisis being used to destroy the livelihoods of thousands of staff members of one of the UK’s flagship companies. In particular, I implore you to act to:

    – Direct IAG to reconsider use of the CJRS to protect staff salaries until October, rather than making staff redundant at this point.
    – Conduct a complete review of the flight ‘slot’ allocation at UK airports and in particular Heathrow and the proportion allocated to British Airways.
    – This would include existing slots, and involve investment incentives and penalty clauses to ensure that all operators act in the interest of the UK as a whole.
    – Encourage BA to ensure that consultation arrangements, and the imposition of new terms and conditions for staff, are agreed with the relevant Trades Unions, and that IAG/BA upholds the high standards which UK employment practices and UK jobs should offer.

This is an issue of huge national importance and I ask that you show leadership. If these redundancies go ahead now, it will set an incredibly worrying precedent for our Coronavirus-hit economy going forward.

Yours sincerely,

Fleur Anderson Member of Parliament for Putney, Roehampton and Southfields

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