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British Airways asks employees to work without pay

Associated Press

British Airways on Tuesday urged its staff to work for nothing in an effort to save the company money.

British Airways is struggling to come up with ways to save cash after reporting its biggest full-year loss since the former national airline was privatized in 1987.

BA chief Willie Walsh has said he would not draw a salary for the month of July, and urged other employees to work for blocks of time without being paid.

“I am looking for every single part of the company to take part in some way in this cash-effective way of helping the company’s survival plan. It really counts,” Walsh said in a company publication.

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The airline said the option meant employees would in effect volunteer to take a cut in base pay, with the lost income spread out over several months. The company said last month that it would ask employees to consider working without pay.

The Unite union, which represents thousands of BA ground and cabin crew members, gave the proposal a chilly reception. The union said that although Walsh might be able to afford working a month for free, its members could not.

BA said last month that it had lost 375 million pounds ($595 million) in the year that ended March 31, compared with a profit the previous year. That is its worst result in more than two decades of business.


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