Unite welcomes British Airways partial u-turn on fire and rehire - but warns issues not yet settled

Following the appearance of Alex Cruz, the chief executive of British Airways at the transport select committee today, Unite Assistant General Secretary, Howard Beckett, said:

"It is thanks to the immense work of Unite reps that British Airways has been forced to accept that it cannot indulge in the comprehensive fire and rehire policy that the airline intended. 

"But Alex Cruz has misled the transport select committee by indicating that fire and rehire is completely off the table. This needs to be corrected.

“There are still too many BA workers facing threats to their wages and working life. These threats should be withdrawn today.

"MPs and the select committee need to be aware that Alex Cruz's comments to the committee earlier are not entirely correct. This is a very important matter and we would not wish MPs and the select committee to get the wrong impression.

"To be clear, the fire and rehire threat still hangs over some BA workers.

"If Alex Cruz wishes to take this opportunity to say that he is removing this threat from our members then Unite is more than ready to talk.

“Draft agreements with British Airways will not be finalised by Unite until members have voted on them and agreed to changes in their contracts.

“Even if agreements are reached and finalised in all of British Airways sectors, this does not herald industrial peace.

“Any changes in contracts should have been of a temporary nature and once British Airways returns to profit, the cuts in pay and conditions should be immediately restored. 

“This is the very least that British Airways should do for its loyal staff who were instrumental in delivering profits of £1.9 billion last year.”