Unite members overwhelmingly back British Airways furlough deal


Members of Unite employed by British Airways have overwhelmingly voted to approve a deal to furlough the airline’s workers and preserve employment.

Following a ballot of the union’s members at the airline, Unite members voted by 99 percent in favour of the deal.

Long negotiations 

Last Thursday (2 April), following long negotiations, a deal between Unite and British Airways was agreed to preserve jobs in the light of most flights being canceled due to the coronavirus crisis but remained subject to approval by a ballot of members.

The deal

The key parts of the deal are as follows:

  1. British Airways will introduce a modified version of the government’s job retention scheme, with workers furloughed on 80 percent of pay.
  2. However, unlike the government scheme, there will be no cap on earnings. Workers will be able to divert their pension contributions into their pay for a short period of time (contributions are between 9 and 18 percent of earnings).
  3. There will be no unpaid temporary lay-offs.
  4. There will be no redundancies during this period and the redundancy process that had already begun has been halted.

Protecting all members

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said:

“Unite members at British Airways have recognised the seriousness of the situation facing the aviation sector during this unprecedented crisis, and so have voted to accept the deal negotiated by their union.

“Unite will continue to work on ensuring that members who are still flying remain fully protected.

“We will also continue to monitor the furlough arrangements throughout the coronavirus crisis.”

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