BA worker reveals shocking treatment of staff in a powerful call

28 May 2020, 12:32 | Updated: 28 May 2020, 15:38

Powerful call from BA worker on shocking treatment of staff

By Fiona Jones

This BA worker told Iain Dale how appallingly they were treated by the airline even before plans to fire and rehire staff.

British Airways plans to fire the vast majority of its staff and rehire them on reduced pay and worse terms, the Unite union has claimed.

BA worker Harrie said staff found out about the mass redundancies of 31,000 people just 45 days before action is taken.

Shockingly, she said, "We all found out by watching television and hearing about it on the radio" despite some employees having been with the company for 30 or 40 years.

BA has since made it clear that there are "proposed changes" and the redundancies are not definite.

She suggested that BA staff would say they love the job, the colleagues and the role the play but "can't stand" the airline.

"Mental effects are horrendous," Harrie said, telling Iain that in house survey showed 96% of workers that answered feel feelings of hopelessness and panic, 78% experienced relationship sufferings, 52% said they felt that they cannot go on.

"This is because we live to our means, it's not the airline it was in 50s, 60s and 70s, very glamorous and well-paid, it is an airline where most of us are, depending on the time difference, will have about 10 hours in our bedrooms.

"We work tirelessly, we work professionally, we always try to rise above the problems that we have that the public just don't know about. This takes its toll and this is just about tipping people over the edge because we just don't know how we're going to pay our mortgages and keep our families going," Harrie said.

She said there are so many avenues to go down: "And yet they've chosen this time, Covid, to do what they wanted to do for about 10 years...and reduce us all down to the minimum of everything."

A British Airways spokesman told LBC:

We are acting now to protect as many jobs possible. The airline industry is facing the deepest structural change in its history, as well as facing a severely weakened global economy.

We are committed to consulting openly with our unions and our people as we prepare for a new future.