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Unions hit BA with joint pay claim

British Airways A320 short-haul aircraft

Three unions have teamed up to submit an ‘unprecedented’ joint pay claim to British Airways, saying the airline’s employees have become “disconnected” from the airline’s success.

Unite, the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) and GMB are working together to seek improvements to pay from January 2019 in addition to “enhanced profit-sharing arrangements” and an employee share ownership scheme.

In a joint statement, Unite, BALPA and GMB said: “British Airways is continuing to deliver extraordinary financial results. In a remarkable transformation, the airline has moved from a £230 million operating loss in 2009 to a £1.8 billion profit in 2017, with an even better result forecast for 2018.

“BA staff made an essential contribution to this success by delivering change and increasing productivity. However, British Airways has allowed a culture to develop in which employees are disconnected from the airline’s success, a cause for concern for a world-class, customer service-based airline.

“The join union pay claim is designed to re-establish this connection between financial success and staff reward.”

The unions say negotiations with BA are due to begin this month.

This is one in a line of disputes BA has faced in recent years, with cabin crew staging 85 days of strikes in 2017 before reaching a pay deal last November. Unions also called on the airline to reconsider its decision to close its main pension scheme.

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