Unite general secretary Len McCluskey today (June 3) highlighted the appalling behaviour of British Airways, which has moved to sack its entire workforce of 42,000 and rehire some 30,000 of them on contracts that will see their pay plummet by 70 per cent.
Speaking to the BBC News today on the Victoria Derbyshire programme, he accused BA of a “wanton act of industrial vandalism”.
McCluskey’s intervention this morning comes as Unite has ramped up its campaign against British Airways in a bid to pressure the company to reverse its decision on redundancies and the new contracts.
It also comes as MPs across parties today (June 3) debated the aviation sector amid the coronavirus crisis after Tory MP Huw Merriman raised an Urgent Question. MP after MP lined up to demand that the government take action against British Airways.
Minister Kelly Tolhurst, who spoke on behalf of the government and stood in for chancellor Rishi Sunak who failed to attend, did not commit to any specific course of action.
But the message from MPs was heard loud and clear – that something must be done to stop British Airways from taking advantage of a crisis and destroying jobs and livelihoods.
Unite has highlighted that one key way to pressure British Airways is for the government to review its allocation of landing slots, which BA depends on. This measure was raised by a number of MPs in today’s debate.
Commenting earlier today, McCluskey said, “There should be a government review of British Airways’ domination of UK landing slots amid the airline’s betrayal of its workers and the British public,” he added.
“There must be consequences to BA’s actions, the airline should not automatically have rights to landing slots as it plans to destroy British Airways as we know it.”
Find out more about Unite’s British Airways campaign here.