BA ‘dismissal threat’ undermines talks, pilots’ union Balpa says

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The pilots’ union Balpa has accused British Airways of undermining talks over proposed job losses by threatening to dismiss and re-hire its members under new contracts.

The airline proposes to make 12,000 staff redundant, as it struggles with the impact of the pandemic, with more than 1,000 pilot roles at risk.

BA planes grounded

British Airways said it was acting now to protect as many jobs possible.

It insisted no final decision had been made.

Balpa has been meeting with the company, unlike some unions, including Unite and GMB, which BA says have refused to enter talks.

But Balpa general secretary Brian Strutton said on Saturday night that those talks now hung “by a thread”.

“Balpa reps have been in consultation with BA over its proposed 1,130 pilot job losses and we’ve been doing that constructively and in good faith,” Mr Strutton said in a statement.

“Then, on Wednesday evening, a letter from BA added another 125 job losses and also for the first time threatened all 4,300 BA pilots with dismissal and reengagement if we did not reach agreement on changes to terms and conditions.

“I’m appalled at the cavalier attitude shown by BA towards the Balpa reps and to its pilots.

“This has seriously undermined our talks which now hang by a thread.”

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