Unite, which represents cabin crew, is calling on British Airways (BA) to revoke an appallingly authoritarian and unjust decision which has resulted in its Hong Kong cabin crew being dismissed without notice or warning. The 89 affected workers, who operate as supplementary cabin crew for British Airways on routes to and from Hong Kong and China, were summoned on Tuesday (25 September) to a meeting the following day.

At that meeting (on Wednesday 26 September) the workers were told that British Airways was closing its Hong Kong International Cabin Crew base and that the permanent workers were to be dismissed immediately and should hand in their ID as they left the meeting. Workers on contracts would see their employment terminated at the end of October.

The workers have been told that they have just three days to sign a letter agreeing to their dismissal or not receive any severance pay.

Unite believes that the actions of British Airways is outrageous and the union is calling on the company to revoke its decision and to enter into proper negotiations with the affected workers’ union the British Airways Hong Kong Cabin Crew Association (BAHKCCA), to examine if workers can be reallocated or that a proper redundancy process is undertaken.

Unite national officer for air transport Oliver Richardson said: “The actions of British Airways are both callous and outrageous.

“Even if BA’s actions are legal under Hong Kong law they break all moral codes of human and workplace dignity.

“BA must revoke this decision and enter into full negotiations with BAHKCCA to develop a proper procedure to ensure that workers are treated fairly and with respect.

“If BA refuse to change course then it deserves the full and total condemnation of the international community which will further tarnish its brand and worldwide standing.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

  • Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.