Edinburgh West MP, Christine Jardine, is calling on British Airways to withdraw its demands to changes in staffing, conditions and timetables which could cost more than 100 jobs at the city’s airport and undermine services as the company plans to cut 12,000 jobs across the UK.
British Airways’ Edinburgh Base which supports BACityflyer’s short haul operations in and out of London is one of the largest employers at Edinburgh Airport.
Some 130 jobs are at risk if the plans go ahead, including 70 pilots and some local managers based at Edinburgh Airport.
But the plans could also mean the closure of the Edinburgh base, significant job losses in other parts of the business including the base in London City, reduction in the terms and conditions of the remaining staff, and the possibility of staff having to reapply for their own jobs.
Last Wednesday (3rd June), BA also issued an update to BALPA threatening all 4500+ pilots at Heathrow and Gatwick with a fire and rehire option, if no agreement between the union and BA is made on pilots accepting higher numbers of redundancies, and agree to changes to terms and conditions affecting sickness, grievance, performance and scheduling.
Cabin crew have faced a similar ultimatum.
Following British Airways’ announcement, Liberal Democrat MP Christine Jardine said:
“Speaking to staff over the past week it's clear that these plans would have a significant impact not only on services but on their lives.
“Many people and businesses who live and work in Edinburgh rely on the services that British Airways operates.
“If the Edinburgh base closes there will be no BA staff north of London meaning a reduction in flights south and an increase in fares, putting Scottish businesses and passengers at a huge disadvantage.
“Given the current global pandemic, alongside the airline’s importance to businesses and communities across Edinburgh it could potentially damage an already fragile industry."