British Airways staff could go on strike after a leaked memo showed the company is planning a major shake-up in the New Year that will include salary cuts and performance-related pay.
Details of the shake-up - codenamed “Project Columbus” by BA - are set out in a confidential internal document leaked to the Daily Mail.
“Cabin crew costs at LHR (London Heathrow) are uncompetitive when compared against our main airline competitors,” according to the leaked memo. And “complex and restrictive cabin crew agreements” are creating “a barrier to change” and “hamper efficiency”.
The airline also aims to replace existing agreements and bring in performance-related pay. New staff will be put automatically on to the new terms and conditions.
It aims is to “remove the complexity and inefficiency of current LHR cabin crew agreements” and attract staff at “competitive cost”.
The British Airlines Stewards and Stewardesses Association - part of the Unite union - has urged its members to ‘resist’ the plans. It says that means existing staff will be left to ‘wither on the vine’.
BA also intends to change the airline’s culture by making it more skills and merit based ‘enabled through performance-related pay and merit-based promotion’.
A BA spokesman blamed the worst trading environment the industry has faced on the new measures. “We have to offset these challenges and identify areas across the company where we can reduce costs.”