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Wednesday 22nd of July 2009
July 13, 2009

BA pilots vote to accept 2.6% pay cut


by Kay Murchie
”BA

British Airline Pilots’ Association (Balpa) has today announced that pilots of struggling airline, British Airways (BA), have voted overwhelmingly to accept a 2.6% pay cut, which will save the airline up to £26 million a year in running costs.

The airline recently admitted that it was fighting for its survival but it is not alone. Many airlines continue to experience a slump in demand with many forced out of business last year as the economic downturn means fewer people are travelling by air.

In May, the airline 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.

Last month, BA asked 40,000 members of staff to work for nothing in a bid to cut costs. The group’s chief executive, Willie Walsh, has already confirmed he will work for nothing this month - giving up his monthly salary of more than £60,000.

In the meantime, returning to today’s deal, over 90% of pilots have voted to for the 2.6% pay cut, which also involves a reduction of 20% in certain allowances.

The average salary for a pilot is around £80,000 per annum and collectively they will be granted £13 million worth of shares in three years time.

Jim McAuslan, general secretary of Balpa, said: “This is an unaccustomed position for a union to be in but we have pressure-tested the company’s trading position and cost base and are satisfied that this step is necessary.”

Last week, more than 2,000 BA cabin crew rejected the company’s proposals to slash costs by freezing pay and reducing headcount.

Instead, workers supported a proposal by Unite, whereby it said it is prepared to consider a two-year freeze on pay which officials said could save between £100 million and £130 million.

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Tags: accept, airlines, , Balpa, , pay cut, , , , , , Willie Walsh

 

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