Unite, Britain's leading union, has called on the incoming British Airways chief executive, Sean Doyle to begin a new chapter of constructive relations with staff and the unions following the news of Alex Cruz's departure, including withdrawing Cruz's brutal 'fire and rehire' approach to the coronavirus crisis.

Constructive relations

Unite assistant general secretary Howard Beckett said: "It's unsurprising that Alex Cruz has suddenly left British Airways. The handling of industrial relations through this crisis has been unnecessarily confrontational and at times heartless. 

“The harsh reality is that BA’s fire and rehire policy, exposed by Unite, caused untold and unnecessary misery to thousands of loyal employees. These brutal industrial practices has seen the reputation of BA damaged on an international scale.

 "It is only because of the dedicated work of Unite and in particular our shop stewards that widespread industrial action has been avoided so far.

“We hope that the incoming CEO Sean Doyle will begin a new chapter of constructive relations with staff and unions, repair the reputation of the airline and boost the morale of staff. Unite stands ready to work with the new CEO.

 “At this moment of crisis it is vitally important there is complete transparency on the terms on which Mr Cruz will be leaving British Airways and that these are the same as the thousands of staff who have left through redundancy.”

Ongoing disputes 

Unite national officer for civil aviation Oliver Richardson said: “Although this change clearly represents a new chapter for British Airways, there is still uncertainty and the continuing threat of ‘fire and rehire’ hanging over a number of BA employees. These threats should be removed in order to allow for a constructive approach to the challenges faced to be found.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

 During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.