British Airways' senior management has praised 800 workers who have volunteered to work for no salary for a period of up to one month to help the airline cut costs and help protect jobs, considering
BA's threats to make cuts this June.
In addition, a further 4,000 employees are taking unpaid leave and another 1,400 employees have volunteered to work part-time – seemingly inspired by BA CEO Willie Walsh's magnanimous gesture to forego his own July salary.
Management originally asked 40,000 of its staff to work for nothing for a month and while the vast majority – over 98% -have decided not to, BA says that those that have agreed will save the company some ?10m ($16.42m).
All of which is very generous of the staff concerned, although it would hardly dent BA's annual loss of ?410m ($661m) last year which was blamed on higher fuel bills and other costs, with the normal absence of any reference to any bad management decisions. The loss compared with profits of ?922m ($1.5bn) in the previous year, representing the biggest since the company was privatised in 1987.
BA's reputation as a quality carrier has come under much pressure over recent years as it has struggled to invest alongside its burdensome pensions deficit. Traditionally, approximately 50% of its revenue comes from just 14% to 15% of its business-class passengers who have substantially declined in numbers.