British Airways proposes to make 239 of 546 staff at its Cardiff maintenance facility redundant

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There has been a lot of media coverage about the proposed changes to British Airways cabin crew pay and conditions, together with a huge number of redundancies.

There has been far less coverage of other areas of the airline.  This is unfortunate, because virtually ALL British Airways staff, in all areas of the business, are being asked to sign up to permanent pay cuts and new, inferior, contracts.  This is for the lucky ones – the rest will be leaving with just statutory redundancy pay if their contract does not mandate a higher package.

British Airways Maintenance Cardiff redundancies

What is happening at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff?

You may not be aware that British Airways has a major maintenance facility in Cardiff where most of its long-haul Boeing fleet are sent.

It was originally opened in 1993 to look after the Boeing 747 fleet.  In 2008 BAMC started to maintain the Boeing 767-300 fleet (now retired) and in 2010 the Boeing 777-200 and 777-300 were added. The hanger also has the capability to maintain the newest Boeing 787 fleet.

British Airways Maintenance Cardiff redundancies

The staff and Unite, their union, were sent this letter (PDF) earlier this week.

As you will read, British Airways is proposing to make 239 of the 546 staff redundant.

In practice, it is likely that every member of staff will be made redundant but 307 will be allowed to return if they sign a new contract.  These will offer ‘competitive pay and benefits’ which are likely to be lower than those currently offered.  Employees will also have to accept weaker protection against redundancy, absence and disciplinary measures.

You will see (page 4) that British Airways is threatening to close the entire Cardiff facility if the union does not agree to the implementation of these changes.

These numbers exclude staff at British Airways Avionics Engineering in Llantrisant and British Airways Interiors in Blackwood.  It is suggested that these facilities might close with activities consolidated in Cardiff, with staff expected to become multi-functional across all three areas.

British Airways Maintenance Cardiff redundancies

This may be a good time to dig out the quote that British Airways issued in 2018 when the Cardiff facility celebrated its 25th birthday.  Head of Business Units Rob Crew said:

“Huge congratulations and my thanks to all those colleagues, past and present, who have contributed to the BAMC story over the past 25 years. Over this time BAMC has been a central part of our business, never standing still and continuing to develop its people and capabilities. The organisation has been flexible and quick to respond to the ever-changing needs of our customers and our business, including new aircraft types, cabin configuration changes, new IFE systems, repairs and modifications.”

British Airways Maintenance Cardiff redundancies

A similar story of redundancies, with reduced pay and conditions for those who remain, is repeating itself across all other British Airways business units.

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Comments

  1. Spaghetti Town says:

    You’re going to love me Rob, but BAMC maintained the 777-200 before 2010. I think it is correct in the case of the 777-300.

    Sorry!

    • That was copied from the BA press release sent out for the 2018 25th birthday event, I think.

      • Spaghetti Town says:

        Fair enough – I don’t think their own press release is right, but you think they’d know more than me. I only know as i’ve lived local to Cardiff for years.

  2. Hmmm. So won’t the planes still need maintenance? Or they wish to move maintenance to another country?

    • chris says:

      BA talked about axing the 747; older 777 and 32x aircraft as well as there being less flights for a few years; so imagine the maintenance hours needed will go down – the remaining planes are newer and aren’t at the age they need rebuilding by the maintenance team.

      • Graham says:

        Hi Chris age of aircraft is irrelevant they have to be maintained every 18-24 mths the amount of work generated varies by aircraft even in fir first check have found defects not Found on older a/craft

    • Lee Gearing says:

      Could this be a case of fewer aircraft meaning fewer maintenance regimes?
      The 777 is still going strong with 45-200s in the fleet and another 12-300s but if they are pulling in 787s (30) and A350s being frequently delivered they are at risk of being phased out of the airline.

      • The B787’s are covered by a Boeing Maintenance Care plan for the first 7 / 10 (don’t remember which it is) years so there won’t be much requirement yet for BAMC to do any work on them.

  3. Michael says:

    It’s far cheaper to do MTC abroad. Nothing can change that. Unfortunately for them, planes have wings.

    Gov should not interfere with BA in their drive to deliver value and good fares for pax.

    Vote with your feet if you’re so bothered. Lobby your MP. Join Extinction Rebellion. Cut up your BAEC cards, boycott Diageo & Elemis.

    • Ryanair deliver value and good fares – not so sure about BA. The Ryanair management model is great for Ryanair, but running BA like Ryanair, mistreating staff and passengers might eventually destroy the brand and any goodwill left. BA of course don’t care because sitting on half the slots at Heathrow they can do whatever they like…

    • Karen says:

      The drive is not to deliver good value and lower fares, the drive is to increase shareholder dividends and CEO bonuses

    • Flylots says:

      If you think all these job cuts will lead to cheaper fares are value for customers- dream on !!!
      It will just lead to increase profits for IAG, increase unemployment for UK 🇬🇧

  4. Dave Barron says:

    Well we all know what happened when BA cut their IT department. Let’s hope safety isn’t compromised by reducing experienced headcount in terms of maintenance. As a customer of BA my confirmed will be diminished that’s for sure!

  5. All Head Office corporate functions were also put under formal consultation today. No proposals given to staff yet, presumably Rob has contacts in the union and will be able to get a copy that way? Would give HFPers an idea of what to expect from the business in the years ahead.

  6. Matty says:

    Air Canada CEO claims company is too busy firing employees to refund passengers:

    https://www.thebeaverton.com/2020/05/air-canada-ceo-claims-company-is-too-busy-firing-employees-to-refund-passengers/

    • Derek says:

      Hardly a publication to be taken remotely seriously. It’s an online version of The Onion

  7. Last year each staff member generated £45,714 in pure profit

    Just let that sink in.

    That’s after you generated enough to pay the fuel bill, the wages, the property, the aircraft, the vehicles, the advertising, taxes, NI contributions, all ancillary costs, fat bonus’ for the top table, and even the massive fines levied.

    Frankly I think it’s pretty good.

    We aren’t a drain on the company, we are the engine driving the profits.

    What the company is currently proposing is obscene opportunistic greed. There are many ways they could go about collaborating with staff to come out of the current situation ready to do business.
    Sacking the whole workforce and inviting some back on much reduced pay is shameful.

    #BAbetreyal

  8. Martina says:

    I can not continue to give my business to a company that treats its staff with such contempt. I have a choice, as they do…….

  9. Graham says:

    77-200 first arrived for c check in cardiff Nov 1999 know for sure as one of the engineers working it, this is typical BA t&c and stiff the work force then they wonder why no one wants to work for them

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