Dec 16

Pilots at British Airways are moving millions of pounds out of the company’s lucrative pension scheme amid fears it will go bust.

british-airways
Pilots at British Airways move millions out of company pension

Workers fear the troubled company will fail to deliver on its pension promises after the airline announced this week that its pension deficit had reached almost £4 billion.

Experts said it showed a “lack of faith” among the company’s own staff in its pension scheme.

It follows a vote by thousands of cabin crew to strike over Christmas over changes to working conditions.

Pilots who have spent their entire career with British Airways can expect to retire on a pension of more than £100,000 a year, according to pension advisers.

If the BA pension scheme collapsed, a lifeboat fund known as the Pension Protection Fund would step in. But the fund pays out a maximum of almost £29,000 a year.

It means pilots and other well-paid BA workers could lose out on tens of thousands of pounds a year during their retirement.

One leading pensions’ adviser has been approached by more than 40 pilots and other pension scheme members at BA in the last few days about transferring their money – with one worker asking to move a pension pot of £2.2 million out of the company’s pension scheme.

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Jul 04

Special guest, Paul Craig Roberts.

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Jun 26

Almost 7,000 British Airways staff have agreed to take part in cost-saving measures, including 800 who said they will work unpaid for up to a month, the airline has announced.

british-airways
Almost 7,000 BA staff have agreed to take a pay cut

Of the 40,000-strong workforce, 6,940 employees volunteered for the measures – with most opting for unpaid leave – which the company said will save up to £10 million.

Chief executive Willie Walsh, who has already announced that he will work unpaid for the month of July, said: “This is a fantastic first response. I want to thank everyone who has volunteered to help us pull through this difficult period.

“This response clearly shows the significant difference individuals can make.”

Options offered to staff included volunteering for between one and four weeks’ unpaid leave or unpaid work, with the pay deduction spread over three or six months.

Staff who have offered to work unpaid will still receive shift allowances and other payments, although they will forego their basic pay.

BA said around 4,000 staff had volunteered for unpaid leave, 1,400 will switch to part-time work and 800 put their names forward for unpaid work, while 740 overseas staff also volunteered to take part in the cost-saving drive.

The airline has been looking to slash costs as part of its survival plan after unveiling an annual loss of £400 million.

Around 2,500 jobs have been cut since last summer and the airline wants to shed another 3,000 posts across its business.

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Jun 16

british-airways-planes-heathrow-airport
British Airways planes on the tarmac at Heathrow Airport. BA ground staff have already rejected the company’s proposals by six to one

British Airways boss Willie Walsh is asking his 40,000 staff to work for nothing to save the airline.

The astonishing plea comes as BA faces what Mr Walsh says is a ‘fight for survival’.

The company has written directly to its 40,000 employees asking them to volunteer for up to four weeks of unpaid work.

Mr Walsh announced last week that he would work unpaid for the month of July – forgoing £61,000 in salary. His chief financial officer Keith Williams is also working unpaid for the month.

The appeal to staff goes much further than earlier requests for a pay freeze or unpaid leave.

It also undermines the unions with whom BA is negotiating a wider package of cost- cutting measures.

But it infuriated cabin crew. One said: ‘BA now stands for “B***** all” because that’s what they want to now pay us. That’s the calibre of management we have at British Airways.’

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Sep 14


A JobCentre office

The true scale of the jobs disaster facing Britain is revealed today as experts issue dire warnings that up to half a million workers will lose their jobs over the next two years, as companies cut costs and scale back investment plans to survive the economic downturn.

Official figures are widely expected to reveal this week that the number of people out of work and claiming benefits increased for a seventh successive month in August.

Finance companies based in London’s Square Mile have already laid off thousands of workers since the US mortgage crisis unleashed chaos in the world’s markets last summer; and the 5,000 UK-based staff at crisis-hit investment bank Lehman Brothers are awaiting news this weekend about how many of them will be made redundant.

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