British Airways has struck a landmark deal with the pilot’s union backing pilots taking a pay cut, and accepting shares worth £13 million instead of pay. Some 78 jobs are also to go under a voluntary redundancy package.
The deal between the airline and the British Airline Pilots Association (Balps) would see 3,200 pilots accept a 2.61 percent cut in their basic pay from October, plus a 20 percent reduction in the additional money pilots are paid while flying.Pilots will receive £13 million in BA shares between them, which they will be free to sell after three years. The share is seen as a bet by the pilots on the prosperity of their company.
“This is a unique agreement,” said Balpa General Secretary Jim McAuslan. “We have always said that as a union we would share the pain if our members shared in the gain.”
“BA is facing a real business challenge and this is not the case of the employer crying wolf,” he added.
Earlier this month, Willie Walsh, the airline’s chief executive, told the airline’s 40,000 staff around the world that the company was facing a fight for survival.
Mr Walsh and Keith Williams, BA’s chief financial officer, have agreed to work unpaid during July.
A spokesman for BA welcomed the deal with Balpa.
“We are pleased that we have reached an agreement with Balpa and that it will recommend the proposals to its pilot members in a forthcoming ballot.
“The proposal involves a combination of reduced pay, increased productivity and some long term structural changes in how pilots are rewarded.”