Maidenhead residents protest British Airways

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

Protest banners were placed around Maidenhead on Monday by campaigners who are against job cuts being proposed by British Airways (BA).

In April, BA set out plans to make up to 12,000 staff redundant due to pressures caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Unite the Union has been involved in a three-day campaign across constituencies with a high concentration of BA staff, such as Windsor and Maidenhead.

Protest banners which read: “British Airways, Stop Betraying Britain” were hung up at Maidenhead United Football Club, on Maidenhead Bridge and at the rowing club.

The union is calling on Maidenhead MP Theresa May to support BA crew and sign a pledge which calls on the Government to review BA’s control of UK landing slots.

BA has a number of ‘legacy slots’ at Heathrow which give the airline the right to take off and land at a certain time.

Unite’s South-East organiser and ex-BA employee, Charlotte Reason, who is involved in the campaign, said: “We’re arguing that if you’re going to cut your staff by 30 per cent, then are you able to fill those [legacy] slots – and are you going to fill those slots with crew who are unable to pay a mortgage or pay rent?”

BA said it was acting to save jobs and is losing around £20m a day due to the pandemic.

A spokeswoman said: “We are acting now to protect as many jobs possible.

“The airline industry is facing the deepest structural change in its history.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure that British Airways 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.”

Theresa May said: “I take a very close interest in the aviation sector and I know just how important this industry is both for the national and local economy here in Maidenhead.

“ I am meeting with ministers directly to discuss this issue and that of the aviation sector more broadly.”

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