British Airways charted a course of cost savings by firing all of its flight attendants and then offering to rehire about 70% of them back, in some cases for 60% less money.
The backlash against them has been dramatic. British Airways has even received government subsidies during the pandemic. The U.K. Parliament’s transportation committee chair has taken up my idea of re-allocating British Airways takeoff and landing slots at Heathrow which are a huge government subsidy.
Undeterred, British Airways is now saying that if their pilots don’t give them all the concessions they demand, they’ll just go ahead and fire them too and rehire back a portion at lower pay.
[I]f BA and BALPA are unable to reach an agreement, the company would seek to force changes by terminating the employment of all pilots and offering individuals new contracts with associated new terms and conditions.
In normal times labor would strike. But what good does a strike do when the airline is already mostly grounded?
British Airways was created by the U.K. government and given protected space at the most lucrative airport in the world. If British Airways wants to impose new employment terms now on its pilots in addition to its flight attendants, then a market economy approach seems best here – stop protecting the airline from competition, allow other airlines access to the takeoff and landing slots at Heathrow that the government had given them. That new airline would, in effect, create more demand for airline jobs.
British Airways clearly shouldn’t be an effective (government-granted) monopoly employer in the market.