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Letter to corporates

MSPs urge big firms to oppose BA’s job cuts

Protest at Edinburgh Airport earlier this month (pic: Terry Murden)

A cross-party group of MSPs is calling on corporate clients of British Airways to put pressure on the airline to withdraw its approach to cutting jobs.

In a letter to 21 of the airline’s corporate customers, including Diageo, BP, HSBC and Microsoft, Labour, SNP and Green MSPs urge them to use their influence and bring about an end to the confrontation with staff.

The MSPs says that along with “others” they will consider asking the UK Government to strip BA of lucrative slots at airports in response to what they call “industrial thuggery”.

It states: “Such is the anger at the company’s conduct here in Scotland, we amongst others are calling for the UK government to consider stripping BA of some of its lucrative landing  slots, particularly at Heathrow airport, in response to the airline’s perceived “industrial thuggery”.

“Slots should be allocated on social responsibility, inward investment and connectivity . We will be putting plans in place to change UK legislation regarding slots. “

Unite executive officer, Sharon Graham said: “MSPs are right to urge BA’s clients to bring their influence to bear on BA. The airline is using the worst health crisis in a century to slash jobs, pay and conditions. 

“The UK Government’s Transport Select Committee has rightly branded British Airways a national disgrace. Unite negotiates with thousands of employers. No other employer has acted like British Airways during this health crisis. 

“Project fire and rehire will damage the previously trusted BA brand. British Airways is putting its market power, lucrative landing slots and its loyal customer base at risk by adopting a scorched earth approach. 

“We hope BA’s clients and customers will condemn the airline for ruining workers’ livelihoods. There must be consequences to BA’s behaviour”.

BA has said that it needs to take difficult decisions in response to the unprecedented downturn in passenger numbers and therefore the number of flights it operates.

The letter is signed by:

Richard Leonard MSP Labour
Jackie Baillie MSP Labour
Neil Findlay MSP Labour
Neil Bibby MSP Labour 
Mark Griffin MSP Labour
Claire Baker MSP Labour
Rhoda Grant MSP Labour
James Kelly MSP Labour 
Elaine Smith MSP Labour 
Alex Rowley MSP Labour 
Pauline McNeil MSP Labour 
Colin Smyth MSP Labour
Johann Lamont MSP Labour 
Sara Boyack MSP Labour 
Dave Stewart MSP Labour
Anas Sarwar MSP Labour 
John Finnie MSP Green
Alex Neil MSP SNP 
Kenneth Gibson MSP SNP 
Bill Kidd 
Fulton McGregor 

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