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Sunday 13th of June 2010
June 10, 2010    

BA boss turns down bonus

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by Kay Murchie

British Airways (BA) chief executive, Willie Walsh, has rejected a bonus worth £334,000.

The news comes just one day after the final series of cabin crew strikes ended.

This is the second consecutive year that Mr Walsh has turned down a bonus, and in its annual report, the company said no-one would receive a cash bonus for the second successive year.

Mr Walsh said he rejected the six-figure sum, which was to be paid in shares, because he “felt it appropriate … in light of the circumstances”.

The airline has been involved in a long-running dispute with its cabin crew members over cost-cutting measures, which include a pay freeze and a switch to part-time working for thousands of staff.

The airline has admitted in the past that it is fighting for its survival and said the cost-cutting programme is part of a strategy to reduce salary costs.

However yesterday, the Unite union which represents BA cabin crew, said it will not rule out a fresh ballot for its members, suggesting further industrial action at the airline.

The fresh ballot will be carried out since legal protection granted to workers who go on strike lasts for 12 weeks is set to expire later this week.

Unite could legally call another strike under the existing ballot but members would not be protected and could be sacked.

However, according to Unite, travel perks were stripped from members who went on strike in March and disciplinary action taken against more than 50 of its members.

This is one of the main reasons for the May/June strikes and the further strike action which could take place in the busy summer months.

Industrial action by members of the Unite union has cost the airline £150 million since March.

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