Public tells British Airways, give back the 10% you took from staff’s pay
- Friday 1 July 2022
POLL: 73% tell BA to do the right thing; 59% say strikes justified; more than one in five say strikes put them off flying with airline
Unite says BA cut has left check-in staff up to £5000 down since pandemic
In the first test of public opinion since British Airways check-in staff announced that they will take strike action to have their pay restored to the pre-pandemic rate, more than seven in ten (73 per cent) of those polled say that the airline should `give it back’.
The poll, undertaken for Unite the union by Survation, revealed today (Friday) also confirms public support for the check-in staff’s decision to take industrial action. Nearly six in ten (59 per cent) of those polled say that a strike to restore pay levels is justified.
And, in a further rejection of the airline’s refusal to do the right thing by its staff, more than one in five of those polled (22 per cent) say that a strike by BA employees makes them less likely to fly with the airline.
Workers worse off
Unite says its members – over 500 check-in staff based at Heathrow - are between £3500- £5000 worse off since BA slashed their pay by 10 per cent during the pandemic.
The airline has since restored the payment to managers, along with bonuses, but is refusing to do the same for staff.
Strike dates have yet to be announced as the union has offered BA a window of opportunity to resolve Unite’s concerns or trigger strike action.
Commenting on the poll results, Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “British Airways has once again got this very wrong. It sacked workers during the pandemic, despite being paid by taxpayers to hang onto them, and is now dishing out bonuses to managers while continuing to hold down workers’ wages.
“If BA is heading for a strike it is because they are refusing to do the right thing and give back what they took off this workforce.
“Quite clearly, the public sees the justice in this dispute and potential strike because they also saw the injustice of ‘fire and rehire’. This has never been about a pay rise – it is simply about recovering the wages of these workers to their pre-pandemic levels.
“These workers are over £3500 worse off, some are even down £5000, since their wages were slashed. The airline is now well on the way to recovery, and it can afford to restore what it took from the workers.
“Unless it gets a grip and backs its staff, BA is fast heading towards a summer of strikes.”
Unite’s check-in members working for British Airways at Heathrow earned around £25,000 a year. The 10 per cent taken from their salaries by the airline has meant incomes for the A-scales staff have dropped by between £3500-£5000 per worker.
Notes to editors:
For the poll, Survation surveyed 1071 UK adults on June 27, 2022. For the tables and media queries, contact [email protected]
Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.