British Airways expected to suspend 36,000 jobs
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British Airways is reportedly set to announce it will suspend 36,000 staff members over the coronavirus outbreak.
The airline usually operates five route from Edinburgh Airport, to Florence, Palma, and London airports City, Gatwick and Heathrow.
It comes after Edinburgh Airport announced it would partially close during the lockdown following a huge collapse in demand, putting 248 of the 750 staff jobs at risk, according to Unite.
The union also said that airport owner Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) had proposed a 20 percent pay cut to all staff for eight months.
British Airways, which has grounded most of its fleet because of the outbreak, has been in negotiations with Unite for over a week.
A broad agreement yet to be finalised suggests that up to 80 percent of BA staff, including cabin crew, ground staff, engineers and workers at head office, will be furloughed.
The airline had already reached a separate agreement with pilots to take a 50 percent pay cut over two months.
No staff are expected to be made redundant.
British Airways formerly operated up to 20 flights a day between Glasgow and London.
Up to 300 staff are based in Glasgow as part of British Airways Maintenance Glasgow (BAMG), responsible for maintenance of the airline’s short-haul Airbus A320 family.
GMB union said the proposal to furlough 36,000 people had come as a ‘relief’ for BA staff.
“GMB members working for BA are relieved to finally be nearing some sort of certainty after what has been an extremely worrying time,” said Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer.
"GMB was at the forefront of campaigning for the people’s bailout package which has formed the basis of ongoing negotiations with BA.
“GMB and our sister union Unite have fought hard to secure members terms, conditions and job security. We believe the current deal, which is nearing its conclusion, secures this.
“But there are significant challenges for the aviation industry and whilst this current deal gives security for BA staff now, the Government can’t take its eye off the ball.
“GMB is calling for more Government intervention to protect the livelihoods of many more workers across the sector.”
It comes after Edinburgh-based aviation services company John Menzies called on the UK government for urgent support for the industry in a joint letter with the three other major firms managing ground operations at UK airports.
Menzies, Swissport, WFS and Dnata said in a message to chancellor Rishi Sunak that without them the country’s airport infrastructure ‘would grind to a halt within months’.
Unite said in response to cuts by GIP that Edinburgh and other airports in Scotland could be ‘on the brink of collapse’ without government backing.