British Airways BAEM cabin crew disproportionately hit by job cuts at Gatwick
The airline, which has been labelled a ‘national disgrace’ by MPs, has pressed ahead with its plans to fire and rehire its workforce, also making thousands of staff redundant.
Unite had raised concerns with BA that the airline’s planned redundancy selections could negatively impact the already low representation of BAEM workers among cabin crew at London Gatwick (7 per cent before the redundancies, compared to 13 per cent nationally and 40 per cent in London).
Unite called on British Airways to conduct an Equality Impact Assessment before making job cuts but the airline refused to cooperate with the union. Unite conducted its own Equality Impact survey which the union described as “truly shocking”.
Well under half (41 per cent) of workers who identify as white have been made compulsorily redundant or have been demoted. The majority (61 per cent) of BAEM flying staff respondents have been made compulsorily redundant.
Redundant or demoted
Results also showed that there are now no black on-board Customer Service Managers (CSMs). The majority have been made compulsorily redundant and one has been demoted; 80 per cent of mixed race cabin crew who responded to the survey have been made compulsorily redundant; 67 per cent of Asian crew have been made compulsorily redundant and 83 per cent of British Airways’ Muslim flying staff have either been made compulsorily redundant or demoted.
The Unite equality impact assessment also found that all the CSMs who are under 25 have been selected for redundancy or have been demoted. All CSMs with a disability who participated in the survey have been made redundant or demoted as well as 71 per cent of cabin crew employees who are caring for a family member with a disability.
“Unite’s findings are truly shocking and we are calling on the airline to swiftly assess the disproportionate impact project fire and rehire is having on BAEM staff, Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said.
“Our survey clearly reveals that compulsory redundancies have disproportionately impacted these workers at Gatwick.
“These shocking findings are in addition to the terrible treatment that all BA staff are being subjected to. Britain is proudly diverse but our national flag carrier stands accused of potential widespread jobs discrimination amongst its Gatwick cabin crew.”
Harish Patel Unite national BAEM equalities officer added, “Unite called on BA to conduct an equality impact assessment before it pressed ahead with its forced redundancies, which we have been dedicated to preventing, but the airline refused to work with us. The survey found that BAEM workers, the disabled and younger staff have all been disproportionately impacted.”
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By Ciaran Naidoo