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Saturday 29th
posted by Steve Sweeney in Britain

BRITISH AIRWAYS’S sky-high profits announced yesterday prove that the airline can easily afford to give its underpaid cabin crew a decent salary, charged heir union Unite.

BA parent company International Airlines Group revealed “bumper profits” of £873 million for the first six months of the year — a rise of almost 40 per cent.

And BA profits are also up nearly 20 per cent with the airline raking in a whopping £664m.

The union has been at loggerheads with BA bosses over in a long-running and bitter dispute over the firm’s refusal to deal with its mixed-fleet cabin crew’s poverty pay, which starts at just over £12,000.

Bosses have resorted to increasingly desperate measures to undermine the dispute, including taking away striking cabin crew’s bonuses — a vital lifeline for the low-waged workers — as well as seizing their travel benefits, which staff rely on to commute to work.

Some staff have been forced to use foodbanks and taking second jobs to make ends meet, and many have resorted to sleep in their cars between shifts as they cannot afford the petrol to drive home and back.

BA bosses came under fire from pilots’ organisations for the “wet lease” of nine fully staffed planes from Qatar Airways — leasing of aircraft and crew — brought into break the strikes.

It’s even offered non-unionised cabin crew cash to scab, with a bonus.

Mr Richardson said: “These colossal profits confirm what we have always said: BA can easily afford to solve this dispute.

“It is frankly obscene to keep thousands of BA’s workforce on poverty pay at the same time as the company makes millions.

“The airline seems content to spend a fortune to break the will of its own workforce, rather than resolve their concerns over fair wages and punitive sanctions.”

He said while the City may be cheering BA’s bumper profits, the airline’s reputation is being damaged over the “bullying and intimidation of a young, lowly paid workforce.”

BA mixed-fleet cabin crew will end their 14-day stoppage on August 1 and urged BA bosses to resolve the dispute ahead of further action with another 14-days of action set to start on August 2.