Fresh BA strike fears

A possible closure of the British Airways pension scheme has paved the way for fresh strike fears after staff reps warn that morale with the organisation has fallen to an all time low.

As a result, the airline’s flight attendants have been forced to consider strike action in preparation for the worst case scenario that their pension scheme will be closed.

British Airways staff are already on a two week long walk out due to on-going disputes over their wages, and if the planned changes to the company’s pension scheme are enforced, this could spell more chaos for the British Airline.

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BA has announced that they plan to close the New Airways Pension Scheme by next March. With a firm announcement imminent, many of their staff are preparing themselves for a 60 day, legal consultation process. 80% of BA’s crew are members of the pension scheme.

Unite has responded to the announcement, stating: “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.”

However, in light of the announcement, the Union acting on behalf of BA staff has made it clear that they are prepared to fight for the rights of those employees affected, no matter what the outcome.

The Union added: “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.”

However, BA has been quick to respond, stating: “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.”

Unite has also joined forces with the GMB union in order to oversee a petition that has been designed to urge 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. Thus, morale is at an all-time low across the organisation”

The main aim of the petition is to encourage senior BA management to enforce a  “a pause in further outsourcing” and “an end to constant cost-cutting and to re-invest in the staff and the customer.”

BA added in a media article: “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.”