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Saturday 27th of June 2009
June 25, 2009

BA to save £10m as 7,000 staff agree to pay cuts


by Kay Murchie
”BA

British Airways (BA), which recently asked 40,000 members of staff to work for nothing in a bid to cut costs, has now had a response from its employees.

The airline, which recently admitted it was fighting for survival, said 6,940 members of staff applied for voluntary pay cuts, including 800 workers who have volunteered to work for nothing for up to a month.

However, unions criticised BA and said asking staff to work for nothing was “unrealistic”. The Unite union said: “The fact that less than 2% of BA’s workforce chose to take up this option demonstrates that there is no real support for this. However, the union is supporting the move.

BA’s chief executive, Willie Walsh, has already confirmed he will work for nothing in July - giving up his monthly salary of more than £60,000.

It is believed the cost-cutting measures will save the airline £10 million and reflects the measures many companies are having to take in order to survive the economic downturn.

In May, BA reported a pre-tax loss of £401 million for the 12 months to the end of March, compared with profits of £922 million the previous year.

The loss represented the biggest since the company was privatised in 1987.

Commenting on the staff’s response, Mr Walsh said: “This is a fantastic first response. I want to thank everyone who has volunteered to help us pull through this difficult period. This response clearly shows the significant difference individuals can make.”

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