Owing to the travel disruption caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Qatar’s state-owned flag carrier Qatar Airways is making speculations to cut large numbers of workers.
The company had instructed cabin crew in its notice to plan for redundancies.
The notice did not mention how many workers it would slash. Earlier The airline’s chief executive, Akbar al-Baker, said: “We have enough cash to take us through a very short period of time,” adding that the Qatar government will ultimately need to seek help from its holders.
Qatar Airways is one of the few global carriers to continue operating in recent weeks since the coronavirus epidemic dramatically decreased global travel demand.
British Airways (BA), on the other hand, reported plans to cut 12,000 jobs, about 30 per cent of its workforce. Chief Executive Alex Cruz, who recently earned a base salary in excess of £1.3 million, wrote to employees, saying, “There is no government bailout standing by for BA and we cannot expect the taxpayer to offset salaries indefinitely.”
“Any money we borrow now will only be short-term and will not address the longer-term challenges we face. … The scale of this challenge requires substantial change so we are in a competitive and resilient position, not just to address the immediate Covid-19 pandemic, but also to withstand any longer-term reductions in customer demand, economic shocks or other events that could affect us.”
The message from British Airways (BA) is clear. It sacrifices its workers to keep the company competitive for the benefit of its shareholders. For the next 45 days the company will meet with the British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) and the Unite and GMB unions to negotiate implementation of the losses.
In addition, this decision, which will devastate tens of thousands of lives, is a warning to the working class of the economic “reconstruction” planned everywhere by business and ruling circles in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Furthermore, millions of people would be forced to pay the price of maintaining a tiny fraction of society’s resources.
The business sat on €9.5 billion in cash and undrawn general and dedicated aviation finance facilities at the end of March. BA’s announcement comes just three weeks after Unite and GMB agreed to a agreement that saw more than 22,000 employees furlough on 80 percent of their salaries.