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DALLAS – British Airways (BA) will give up to 13% more in wages to about 16,000 employees, undoing pay cuts brought on by the COVID epidemic.
The deal, according to union leaders, came about as a result of the check-in staff’s threat to go on strike earlier this summer, which led to a compensation agreement that was being extended to the entire workforce.
Around 16,000 non-management employees at the company, including cabin crew, engineers, and baggage handlers, are reportedly covered by the agreement, which will help bring pay back up to 2019 levels after the airline lowered staff compensation when the epidemic stopped flights around the world.
After accepting the proposal, 500 Unite union members, principally check-in clerks employed by BA at London Heathrow (LHR), avoided the possibility of strike action in July.
Workers are expected to get a lump sum payment in August equal to 5% of their salary as part of the pay agreement, which is divided into various portions. After that, employees will receive a combined 5% wage boost in September and a subsequent 3% increase in December. According to Unite, this amounted to an overall “13% wage rise.”
Comments from Unite Union, British Airways
Sharon Graham, the union’s general secretary, said, “By standing strong with Unite, our members have compelled BA to table a pay rise that goes toward compensating for the pay cuts suffered during the pandemic.
“There is still some way to go for workers at BA to trust this company again, given the hostile manner they conducted themselves during the pandemic. Once again, Unite’s focus on improving jobs, pay and conditions has delivered for our members,” The Guardian quoted the union leader.
A spokesperson for the airline said, “We’re pleased with this outcome.”
Living expenses are placing increasing pressure on UK employees, and the Bank of England predicts that inflation will exceed 13% later this year as a result of an increase in energy bills coming in October.
Featured image: British airways G-XWBB Airbus A350-1041. Photo: Joao Pedro Santoro/Airways