British Airways asks staff to work unpaid for a month
Economic recession, slow down, depression, slump, whatever name you give it – the signs are profound in British Airways’ annual business posting an annual loss of $ 656 million last month. This is a serious matter for a company, and immediate measures are needed to be undertaken by the management. Either improving business drastically or cost cutting significantly is two means in sight for any giant business house.
British Airways that has approximately 40,000 employees in UK alone is facing a huge challenge to pay the staff salaries. In this circumstance, the company has requested all its employees to take one to four weeks of leave without pay with an option to serve the company in this leave period. Kristen Millard, the spokesperson of the company revealed this information. The company intimated this request to all employees through e-mail.
The CEO of British Airways Willie Walsh is not at all optimistic about the recovery from this financial mess in the near future, and termed this as the major crisis of all time for British Airways.
Britain’s biggest union has not reacted very affirmatively on the management’s request to work without pay for up to four weeks. Ciaran Naidoo, a spokesperson for Unite criticized the CEO by saying that he can afford to work for four weeks without pay as he earns four times in a month what they earn in a year. He asserted the fact that it is just a request, not an order or policy decision, and the staff are unlikely to heed to this request. He did believe that some of the employees might accept leave without pay.
The airlines’ business has gone down steadily with the decrease of booking of passenger seats and cargo booking simultaneously, and the fuel bill amount increased heavily to $ 4.7 billion in the last financial year.
Welsh has linked this business slump to the worldwide recession. Competition is one area outside global recession that has affected this giant company in a certain way. Its premium passengers reduced by 13% in the second half of the last financial year; and total traffic chopped down by 3.4%. The company has taken the initiative to face the fierce competition by cutting down fares from the fourth quarter of the last financial year. Now it is thinking to reduce the capacity utilization by 4% from the next winter by idling 16 aircrafts.