Unite warns British Airways against outsourcing and of...

Unite warns British Airways against outsourcing and offshoring its customer service

24 November 2016

A ‘market testing’ exercise by British Airways of its customer service operations could result in the UK’s national carrier outsourcing and offshoring hundreds of call centre jobs based in Newcastle and Manchester, warned Britain’s largest union, Unite.

The ongoing review by BA’s parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) is inviting external suppliers to look at the airline’s contact centre business and submit proposals to take it over. 

Accusing IAG of engaging in a crude cost cutting exercise, Unite warned that outsourcing and offshoring would lead to a more fragmented and poorer experience for customers. 

An update of the review, which covers 900 workers at BA’s call centre in Newcastle and around 500 in Manchester, is expected in the second quarter of 2017.

Commenting Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “This review is nothing short of a slap in the face for hardworking staff who have constantly adapted to changing markets, while continuing to deliver the highest level of customer service.

“A cloud of uncertainty now hangs over the heads of workers who fear that their jobs will be outsourced or offshored as a result of this exercise. Such a scenario would lead to poorer customer service and a more fragmented experience for passengers.

“We urge IAG to resist the temptation to engage in a crude cost cutting exercise and repay its loyal workforce by keeping the customer service operations of our national carrier in–house.”


For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869. 

Notes to editors:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.