Where We Are (Update 30)

In Coronavirus by GMB x54 Communications

Dear GMB Member, 

Transport Select Committee

You will recall the Willie Walsh was questioned earlier this week by the TSC.
He subsequently wrote to the Committee Chairman, Huw Merriman.

This letter – and the strong reaction it provoked – can be seen using the by clicking here.

Where we are

Our view has been set out over recent GMB bulletins, that the BA ‘consultation’ is illegal and immoral.

We are asking the company to withdraw their proposals and are hoping that our legal arguments and the pressure of public and political opinion will persuade them to do so.

In the meantime, we are not participating in any meetings with the company related to their proposals.

We believe that doing otherwise – either on a collective or individual level – would be inconsistent with our position.

This is not our normal stance.

Over the last twenty years, we have always engaged with BA, even when the changes being sought were very difficult.

But this time it is different.

There is nothing in any of their actions so far that makes us think BA are interested in a ‘meaningful consultation’.

Next Steps

Earlier this week we wrote to BA explaining our position:

  • We believe their proposals are an abuse of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme;
  • They are betraying the Memorandum of Agreement that we reached in March over furlough arrangements;
  • They are not complying with the 2012 Redeployment Process Agreement regarding consultation;
  • They have failed to explore all alternatives to redundancy, in particular approaching the Treasury for further support;
  • They have not provided all the relevant information that the law requires;
  • We cannot consult with our members in the current environment to the extent the law requires.

We are waiting for their reply.


The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is the government initiative under which BA can claim money for colleagues who are furloughed.

Earlier this week it was announced that this has now been extended to October.

We will be writing to BA on this matter shortly and will share our letter once it has been sent.

Our approach

This is an incredibly stressful time for us all.

We are aware that BA’s actions have placed you all under immense pressure.

We cannot magic this away.

However, we believe that the approach we have outlined above is the best way for us to get through this together.

Take care, stay strong,

Nadine Houghton
GMB National Officer