British Airways asks staff to work for free - would YOU do it?

17 June 2009

http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/5391/bagraphices203x15038155.jpgBritish Airways' relationship with its unions isn't terribly warm right now. As BA tries to recover from a record annual loss of £400M this fiscal year, they have already cut up to 2,000 from its cabin staff of 14,000. Now, BA is asking its remaining 40,000 odd employees to help battle 'tough market conditions'. How? By working for up to one month... for free.

In a move that could potentially backfire, BA CEO Willie Walsh has already signed up to renounce his £61,000 monthly salary for July, and is asking the rest of the staff to "bat one for the team" also in a company wide email, offering staff to take unpaid leave or unpaid work.

But as one BA crew member astutely pointed out, Mr. Walsh's annual income of £735,000+ per year is a marginal gap from a basic salary of £11,000 a year.

BA however states that this is not compulsory: "It's a request - you can take unpaid leave or you can work for free, and the chances of people working for free are very unlikely, but there might be some people who want to take unpaid leave." Either way, this should end well.

What about this scenario: Your company just cut half the staff, and is now asking you to work for free for a month... what would you do? Your options include:

1) happily continue to work without pay. That's how much you love your job.
2) take time off without pay. Drink lots of beer and twitter.
3) take time off without pay, and start a strike.
4) quit.

What sacrifices would you make, if any at all? And would you be able to get by without a month's salary? And if you are at a senior level in the company, would you risk being seen as a "bad sport" for not taking a pay cut in tough times?

Let's hear your opinions!

[Financial Times and Times Online]

TOPICS:   Travel

37 comments

  • Tom P.
    Willie looks like a right prick
  • Francis R.
    Problem is, the BA staff will now be being monitored to see who 'complies' with BA's wishes. 2 options present themselves here, 1. Work for a month unpaid - You'll get a green tick against your name and overlooked when it comes to the next bout of redundancies, possibly, but probably not, but it'll look better than option 2. 2. Take unpaid leave - You'll get a red cross against your name and definately get you name put in the 'redundancy hat' Even though, Willie, you say say, "It's a request" it isn't is it Willie? You really mean, "comply or we'll make you and your face full of makeup redundant. To be honest, judging by a company like BA and cunt like Willie, you'll probably get fucked off anyway. Willie's made himself look like a geat guy cos he's taken one for the team just like all the others, smarmy twat. Another thing, It probably won't be a month unpaid leave, it'll be 5 days per quater, taken at your leisure.
  • Mick
    its a joke. Easy for the top man to go a month without his 61k when he has a gazillion quid in the bank, but when the average joe is struggling to pay his mortgage and put food on the table it just is not possible. The real solution would be for the top earners to take a PERMANENT reduction in pay, these fat cats earning 61k a month is 3 times what the average person on the street makes in a YEAR. Fucking idiots.
  • Pizza_D_Action
    "BA CEO Willie Walsh has already signed up to renounce his £61,000 monthly salary for July" Instead he's just taking £100,000 worth of shares.... what a tw@
  • Pizza_D_Action
    What they should have done is say that for every £20,000 (or part therof) that staff earn, they should take a 1% pay cut. Someone on £20,000 now gets £19,800 Someone on £75,000 now gets £72,000 Big Willie on £735,000 now gets £463,050 Sounds a lot better to me.
  • MinstrelMan
    is it me of is there a maths failing there pizza?
  • Francis R.
    I see what Pizzas done there, for every £20'000 they get 1% pay reduction, so for £40,000 they get 2% pay reduction. I don't care whether his maths is right or wrong it's the principal. I like it Pizza
  • MrRobin
    What a joke. No chuffing way would I do this and nor should anyone else. As Mick said, it's fine for the CEO and other board members who presumably have sky high (ha-har!) salaries and the only consequence is that they will just have to postpone their purchase of the new Merc until later in the year. Mrs Flight Attendant or Mr Baggage Handler will have their house repossessed and have to eat baked beans for the month. Pizza_D_Action, your idea is just the same... except you're saving 1%, BA are trying to save 8.3% If they're that hard up for cash Why don't they offer to pay a portion of wages in shares?
  • Junkyard
    Er no MinstrelMan, it's just you. Sounds like a good plan Pizza, why limit it to BA?
  • AiryFairySalt
    Yes, yes there is! Someone on £20,000 now gets £19,800 Someone on £75,000 now gets £74,250 Big Willie on £735,000 now gets £727,650 Big Willie still gets FAR too much!!
  • Francis R.
    It's 1% per £20'000 FOR FUCKS SAKE !!!
  • AiryFairySalt
    Ahh...I get it. Sorry Minstrel Man! Very clever!
  • AiryFairySalt
    Sorry Francis - my pages dont update as quickly as they should. No need for the language!
  • Paul
    735000 - 1% (7350) = 727650
  • Paul
    gay
  • Francis R.
    I get moderated Airy, cos I fucking swear so much. So my comments take about 24 hours to appear, so people such as ace get confused.
  • Amanda H.
    There's a slight difference in 1 person losing one months pay of 61k. As next month he will have his 61k (which is my yearly wage x 5) so will be able to resume riding around in Lamborghini's stuffed full of Cheerleaders. Where as a "normal employee" would get less than a £1000, and have to make do with a Ford Focus and Susan Boyle.
  • Me
    I work for that asshole and NO, I won't work for free. I can't afford to. I don't get £29k a year as reported and definitely not £61k per month for mistake after mistake. He [email protected] up T5, hedged the fuel cost too high, alienated the workforce and employed a bunch of clueless, overpaid exexutives. The customer unfortunately always suffers and he doesn't give a sh*t. I would happily take a temporary 5% pay cut and even hand back a couple of days leave a year (temporary). Work for free?? Willie if you're reading this, kiss my A@*e.
  • Will
    They've just done this same thing to my friend at Siemens via a mass email.
  • MinstrelMan
    indeed I read the post incorrectly.
  • acecatcher3
    fails big time xx hi vince, u havent been writing on bw much recently, is something "wong" hahahahahahaha (sorry) xx
  • Clown
    He is a clueless c*nt. As someone has pointed out,for his "missed" monthly salary he bags £100,000 of shares. Bat one for the team,someone should take a bat across the smarmy gits face...HARD. People like him are why this country is acrewed,too many clueless idiots in high places. BA and so many British companies are run by dinosaurs,old school boards whose only vision is a G&T. Sadly as they die off they are simply being replaced by youger dinosaurs. Britain is so steeped in tradition it cannot get out of it,thatas the problem.Look at the MP's exepenses scandal ,those clowns were genuinely shocked that their expenses claims were being ridiculed. RIP Britain.
  • acecatcher3
    i wouldnt be happy with this btw, £61k a month tho wow, how much of £735,000 salary will this man actually recieve after tax.....could someone do a quick breakdown of how we are taxed please for me if ur bored??
  • b. o.
    i would tell them to go fuck themselves for free
  • tiger
    apart from £61k basic monthly salary anyone know if he got other monthly allowances? allowances like for travel accomodations entertainment...
  • Dave T.
    Of course BA staff should work a month for free - However if MY company asked me the same then they would get told to F*** off. If cabin staff are so low paid why don't BA simply sack the pilots and retrain the cabin staff to fly the planes. Most of the time its simply a case of starting the thing and programming the computer. The plane will then take off and land. If Air France cabin crew had been flying the plane from Brazil it is likely to have still crashed with a stewardess at the controls. Alternatively wouldn't it be good if we all could get a turn flying the thing!
  • Francis R.
    ace, anything you earn over £35K is subject to 40% tax, so he probably sees about £440K fat cat (read cunt) but if he is given shares as a bonus and doesn't sell them for 5 years, anything he makes is not subject to tax, fat cat (read cunt)
  • Me
    Willie used to be a pilot but he was probably crap at that so ended up running the place! I'll exchange my £1400 quid monthly salary for £3000 Shares. Greedy Bast@*ds like him are what's killing the country. Just take a look what he did to Aer Lingus. As for the extras on top of his salary - he gets a driver, 1st class travel, etc,etc. As well as a huge amount of money when he leaves or is "let go" and a big fat pension.
  • Me
    Maybe I'd work for free for a month.....on the condition that pikey fu@!ks off back to the site he came from and take his clueless minions with him.
  • acecatcher3
    cheers mike
  • Francis R.
    It's Francis ace, Mike had the crap moderated out of his comments.
  • James
    @Dave T nice solution in principle, however at the cost of 2 years training and nearly £100,000 per person something like that wouldn't work
  • Jill
    lol, I'm enough of a nervous flyer now, I can't imagine how I'd be if they let anyone have a go flying the plane!
  • Barney
    Just take a look at the state WW left Aer Lingus in....loss-making airline, service cut across the board...In a time when people are looking at the pennies people opt for value for money,,,,,,undermining the service front line is short-termist and will lose high paying customers in a competitive market. It's time BA's shareholders took a stand. This man will turn a great carrier into an average airline.....Enough....
  • Al K.
    So now we know why terrorists exists.
  • Matty B.
    What a lot of people don't know is that all of the BA Employees (read MUGS!) that agreed to work a month for free, were thus royally 'rewarded' (read screwed over!) by having two days annual leave deducted from their yearly entitlement. Yes you did hear right, BA took the attitude that as they had in effect only worked for 11 months of the year (having 'agreed' to work a month for free), they were only entitled to 11 months worth of acrued annual leave!! What a buch of C**nts! Also, funny how the judge who ruled the strike planned just before Christmas 'illegal' flew to Geneva on the 23rd December with (yup you guessed it!) BA!! Makes you wonder whether there really was any legal reason for the strike not to go ahead, or whether she just didn't want her Christmas plans disrupted!?!
  • Family L.
    I hear it's pretty good, I also intend to use it

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