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U.K. Transport Committee : British Airways' Treatment Of Employees 'national Disgrace'

U.K. Transport Select Committee report condemned behaviour of British Airways and its parent company, IAG towards its employees during the coronavirus crisis. British Airways' treatment of its employees during the crisis "is a national disgrace", the Committee report claimed.

The Committee report accused the airline of a "calculated attempt to take advantage" of the pandemic to cut 12,000 jobs and to downgrade the terms and conditions of about 35,000 employees.

Meanwhile, British Airways reportedly said that it will do everything in its power to ensure that the company can survive and sustain the maximum number of jobs consistent with the new reality of a changed airline industry in a severely weakened global economy.

The aviation industry has been one of the hardest-hit since the pandemic forced a lockdown. Airlines including EasyJet, Ryanair, and Virgin Atlantic, and suppliers Rolls-Royce and Airbus, announced thousands of job cuts.

Chairman of the Transport Committee, Huw Merriman MP, said that the impact of coronavirus may sadly mean that the loss of some jobs in the aviation sector is justified. But, the behaviour of British Airways and its parent company, IAG, is not.

British Airways' actions falls well below the standards expected from any employer, especially in light of the scale of taxpayer subsidy, at this time of national crisis, Huw Merriman said in the report.

The U.K. Committee urged UK-based airlines and other aviation employers should not proceed hastily with large scale redundancies and restructuring to employees' terms and conditions until the Job Retention Scheme ends in October 2020 and they have had the opportunity to consider the Government's plans to help the sector restart and recover.

The introduction of mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers to the UK from other countries will damage the recovery of the sector and the wider economy, the U.K. Committee's report said.

On Friday, British Airways, easyJet and Ryanair launched legal action against the U.K. Government over its mandatory 14-day quarantine policy.

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