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BALPA Welcomes Transport Select Committee report which shines a light on exploitative airline management and the need for change in Government policy

The report from the House of Commons Transport Select Committee released today (Saturday 13 June 2020) on the impact of Coronavirus on aviation is absolutely damning of BA in particular, and raises serious and urgent questions about the need for the Government to change tack.

Following evidence from BALPA, other trade unions, thousands of BA employees and BA boss Willie Walsh himself, the Committee has branded the airline ‘a national disgrace’ for the way it is using the crisis to cuts jobs and terms and conditions for those who remain all under the threat of potential ‘fire and rehire’.

The Committee has also echoed BALPA’s criticisms of the Government’s botched 14-day quarantine period for anyone entering the country.

Brian Strutton, BALPA General Secretary, said, “I welcome this report and thank the Committee for the opportunity to have given evidence.

“I am pleased that the Committee agreed with BALPA’s point that airlines should not carry out redundancies or restructuring until more is known about the recovery. [Para 64] Now is not the right time to be taking knee-jerk decisions affecting the livelihoods of so many people in what could easily turn out to be a short-sighted and economically damaging way.

“The Committee is absolutely right to brand the behaviour of BA management as a national disgrace. Any company using the cover of Covid to slash jobs and terms and conditions like they have needs to be called out. I have described consultation talks between BALPA and BA as hanging by a thread due to BA’s decision to issue a ‘fire and rehire’ threat. That remains the case.

“And I am pleased that the report highlights the lack of evidence for, and damaging impact of, the Government’s botched 14-day quarantine policy, which unless reversed very soon, will be hugely damaging for the long-term health of this industry.”