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British Airways pilots vote to accept job and pay cuts package

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BALPA said its members voted by 85% in favour.
BALPA said its members voted by 85% in favour. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA via Getty Images

British Airways pilots have voted to accept a package that will temporarily cut jobs and pay to avoid a larger number of redundancies, their union announced.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said its members voted by 85% in favour of the deal.

There will be around 270 jobs axed and temporary pay cuts starting at 20% – reducing to 8% over two years – before falling to zero in the longer term, BALPA announced.

Brian Strutton, general secretary at BALPA said: “Our members have made a pragmatic decision in the circumstances, but the fact that we were unable to persuade BA to avoid all compulsory redundancies is bitterly disappointing.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: BA owner IAG to raise £2.5bn in rights issue

The package, negotiated by BALPA was in response to BA’s formal notification of 1,255 pilot job losses and the threat to fire and rehire the remaining pilots on worse conditions, the union said.

Previously BA owner, International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG.L) was criticised by unions and MP’s after it announced its plans to axe 1,255 jobs and 12,000 jobs in total, after citing low cash flow and the coronavirus pandemic as a reason.

This week IAG announced plans for a rights issue of up to €2.75bn (£2.5bn, $3.6bn), as it warned the airline industry will take years to recover from the coronavirus crisis.

READ MORE: UK inflation rose in June as businesses emerged from lockdown

A BA spokesman said: “This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone at British Airways and we are grateful to BALPA and our flight operations team for the work they have done to reach this agreement and save hundreds of jobs.

“Today’s financial results show the enormous challenge British Airways faces as it contends with the impact of the global pandemic and government travel bans, reducing demand for travel very significantly.

“We do not expect our company to return to 2019 levels of business until at least 2023 and therefore we need to act now to reshape our company for a very different future.”

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