British Airways Set To Boost Thousands Of Workers’ Pay

Photo sourced from Sky Newsv
Photo sourced from Sky News

LONDON – UK national flag carrier British Airways has outlined plans to increase 16,000 employees’ pay.

How Does the Deal Look

When check-in staff threatened the airline with industrial action earlier this year, British Airways and their workers’ representative Union met to discuss a deal that could be put forward to staff.

The morale-boosting deal that was accepted by five hundred Heathrow-based check-in staff is made up of three parts. They will receive a non-consolidated five per cent lump sum in August’s pay, a five per cent consolidated rise on their wages starting from September 2022, and then an additional consolidated three per cent on top starting in December 2022.

Unite the union, who went out to bat for British Airways staff throughout ‘Tough negotiations’ with the airline, state that the three part deal represents a thirteen percent pay increase for employees.

It has been well documented that BA and its parent company, IAG (The International Airlines Group) lost a lot of stock with how they treated their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a bid to reduce costs amid worldwide aircraft groundings, BA looked to its staff to ease the burden on its purse strings, with some lower-paid staff having their pay cut by up to 10%, in a move that was described as ‘disgraceful’ by Unite at the time.

Unite the Unions General Secretary, Sharon Graham had this to say on the recently announced pay deal: “By standing strong with Unite, our members have compelled BA to table a pay rise that goes toward compensating for the pay cuts suffered during the pandemic.

“There is still some way to go for workers at BA to trust this company again, given the hostile manner they conducted themselves during the pandemic. Once again, Unite’s focus on improving jobs, pay and conditions have delivered for our members.”

This pay increase, which is set to apply to check-in staff, cabin crew, engineers and baggage handlers will ensure that British Airways doesn’t pile on further woe to the travelling public heading off on their summer holidays given the carriers’ current struggles amid cancellations on short-haul routes.

Had the agreement not been accepted, they could have been facing walk outs from staff in key areas that would have had the potential to bring operations to a grinding halt.

Comments From British Airways

A BA spokesperson said that they were pleased with the outcome of pay negotiations that brings workers back in-line with 2019’s pre covid wages.

Oliver Richardson a Unite national officer said: “As the ever-increasing pressure of a cost of living crisis continues in the UK, a representative 13% deal secured by Unite will assist in easing the significant financial pressure faced by many at the company”

The latest figures released by the Bank of England show that prices have risen 9.4% compared to the same time in 2021, and the ongoing war in Ukraine continues to drive energy prices higher, making the cost of living ever more difficult. 

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Jamie Stokes

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