BRITISH Airways is planning to shake up its operations at Gatwick, in a move that unions said could cost hundreds of jobs.
The flagship carrier said it has begun talks with unions over job cuts as it outsources 400 baggage and coaching roles to a third party supplier and scales down its customer services team.
“As a traditional full-service carrier with a long history, we have to meet the challenge of transforming our cost base to compete more effectively in the short-haul market, while continuing to deliver outstanding service and value for our customers,” the company said in a statement yesterday.
BA is the only airline at Gatwick still directly employing its own ground workers.
The Unite union said the overhaul was “extremely worrying for staff” and called on BA to ensure there are no compulsory redundancies.
The airline has said it will offer existing ramp workers the chance to work with the as-yet-unnamed external supplier, under employment transfer laws.
But the GMB union said 170 jobs are expected to be lost in a “disaster for staff morale at BA at Gatwick”.
“GMB will want talks with the company to get to the bottom of what it is trying to achieve at Gatwick and we will want to see proper consultations with our members on the way forward. GMB members want BA to take this announcement off the table to allow this to happen,”said GMB regional officer Gavin Davies.