On July 27, Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey sent a letter to BA boss Alex Cruz about his plan to “lay off and rehire thousands of your workforce on August 7.” The media focused on McCluskey`s threat that Unite would be ready to move “with immediate effect to industrial action.” But the main part of McCluskey`s letter was a request to Cruz to work with Unite as the only realistic way to ensure the company`s continued profitability. The airline had proposed to lay off 12,000 people as it grappling with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and 1,255 pilot jobs are at stake. The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has asked Ryanair management to meet with ACAS (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service) to resolve the current dispute with its pilots. BA is banking on BALPA`s advantage and negotiating with other personnel areas, including cabin crew, engineers and office staff. The company had issued an ultimatum to its non-pilots, in which they said they had to accept by Monday, August 3 either dismissal conditions or a reduction in wages and poor quality conditions. The company warned that employees who do not opt for either option can be fired without a set of redundancies. The British Airline Pilots Association said that because Ryanair wasted time in unnecessary legal proceedings, it lost its chance to resolve the dispute between its pilots. Instead, Ryanair is relying on legal formalities to convince the Supreme Court to block the strike. Trade union cooperation with the aviation industry is also an international phenomenon. In July, Icelandic airline Icelandair negotiated a new contract with the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association (FFI) following its members` rejection of two earlier agreements.
Of the initial 900 cabin crew members before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airline will continue to only 200 when it resumes operations. The German unions Verdi, OVNI and Cockpit have imposed massive cuts on Lufthansa. The British Airline Pilots` Association (BALPA) warns passengers not to get carried away with their drinks before the flight as the busiest day of the year for British air travel approaches. Union representatives reached an agreement with British Airways management and opened a consultation between pilots to vote on a package of health and safety measures. BALPA was in negotiations with BA for three months when the company challenged its attack on staff. In principle, the union accepted the lazy deal with BA on July 6, but it did not make it public until July 22, leaving only a week for its BA members to vote on the proposal and the union recommended a “yes.”