BA pilots ordered to take pay cut or transfer

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The Independent Online
BRITISH AIRWAYS pilots at Gatwick are facing the choice of a pay cut of up to 30 per cent or forcible transfer to other parts of the BA network if the proposed pounds 1 take-over of Dan-Air goes ahead.

The 90 BA pilots working out of Gatwick are now being told either to accept the new conditions or get a transfer to other BA sites. While the wages of junior pilots will not be reduced much, those of senior pilots will be reduced quite sharply unless they agree to transfer.

BA has agreed to take on 120 Dan-Air pilots out of 500, and 380 cabin staff but is forcing them to accept a 10 per cent pay cut, even though their wages were already about 20 per cent less than those of their BA equivalent.

One pilot told the Independent that there was so much anger about the proposals they could jeopardise the proposed take- over.

British Airways is trying to establish a low-cost short haul airline by merging its existing operations at BA with the Dan-Air routes which will operate under a new name which is yet to be announced.

The management is working towards cutting Dan-Air's costs by 25-35 per cent in order to make the new subsidiary, which is due to start operating on 6 November, profitable. Only 12 of Dan-Air's 38 aircraft are being kept by BA - all 737s - and about 400 of the 2,000 staff will be employed by the new subsidiary.

BA said yesterday that negotiations with the pilots and air crew were continuing and that it could not make any statement.

Letter, page 18