GMB Update 26th May (Update 33)

In #BeFairBA, Coronavirus by GMB x54 Communications

Dear GMB Member,

Current Position

As things stand BA are continuing to issue further ‘S188’ letters, mainly relating to Head Office areas where they hadn’t previously given detailed figures for the number of redundancies.

Meanwhile, with the exception of the pilots, there are no consultation meetings occurring between BA and the Trades Unions. It appears that participation levels in the ‘meetings’ that senior managers are holding with impacted colleagues are also very low – and many cases not attended at all.

Political Outlook

We are expecting details to be released shortly of the government’s response to the crisis in aviation, part of what has become known as ‘Project Birch’. Already the French and German governments have stepped in to support Lufthansa and Air France/KLM.

The Chair of the Transport Select Committee, Huw Merryman, has said in the strongest possible terms that BA should pull back from the brink: ‘British Airways need to read the mood music and stop restructuring now or Govt and Parliament must step in and halt this abuse of power. I’ll never step foot on a BA plane if they go through with this’. (Read the Twitter Feed here).

As soon as we hear further details of the government response we will share them with you.

Feeling the strain

So whilst we are all feeling anxious about the situation, you can see that BA’s leadership are also under pressure. Their actions have caused a public and political backlash and the reaction from the workforce may well have taken them by surprise.

We will continue to monitor the situation but we think it would be a mistake for our decisions to arise out of a sense of panic. We are at our strongest when we work together – and that has been our approach to working with our colleagues in Unite. Meetings have been arranged with them this week to review the political, legal and industrial strategy.

However, we are ultimately accountable to you, our GMB members, and that is something we will never forget.

Take care, stay strong,

Nadine Houghton
GMB National Officer