UK - Airline giant British Airways will face industrial action if it raises employees' pension contributions, unions warn.
The airline says it is looking to slash “staff costs” to save £300m over two years but has not indicated where the savings will come from.
Trade unions Amicus and GMB, however, say they are “almost certain” the company will try to increase member contributions to its closed final salary New Airways Pension Scheme and reduce pension benefits to save money.
Amicus national official for aviation Bob Shannon said: “Any cost increase at all for our members will be completely unacceptable and we will take the necessary steps to ensure our members’ contributions are protected.”
And he warned that industrial action would be taken if negotiations were “unsuccessful”.
GMB spokesperson Emily Thomas agreed. She said: “It is not up to our members to foot the bill for the pension scheme.”
She added: “We warned the company several months ago that closing it to new entrants would lead to problems and it assured us it would not ask members to pay more. Now it will.”
The strike threat follows increased annual employer contributions to the firm’s closed final salary scheme – the £3.7bn New Airways Pension Scheme – by £133m to £225m, due to a £930m shortfall.
BA pensions spokesperson Kate Gay said the firm would work with the unions to address the “extra cost issues” relating to pensions.
She said: “We will look at all the options.”
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