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Issue #1543      18 April 2012

Thousands of BMI jobs to go

Unions are reeling over the news that up to 1,200 jobs could be lost after British Airways formally takes control of airline British Midland International later this month.

Engineers union Prospect said it was “dismayed” by the announcement and negotiator Richard Hardy revealed that unions were told at a briefing with BA that only the BMI operation at Heathrow was seen as having a future.

All other BMI staff are at risk of redundancy including those at BMI’s head office at Castle Donnington in Derbyshire and regional airports.

Prospect represents more than 200 airworthiness engineers based at regional airports including East Midlands, Birmingham, Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Heathrow.

Mr Hardy said: “Over 400 jobs will be lost in the East Midlands alone, over 100 of them high-quality engineering jobs.

“This is yet another body blow to local economies. Not only will it cause personal hardship and uncertainty for the individuals affected, it will also have a devastating knock-on impact on local businesses, shops and communities.

“There will be similar, though smaller, impacts in Birmingham, Glasgow, Belfast and Edinburgh.”

Consultations on redundancies have begun and Prospect along with GMB will be pressing BA to protect as many jobs as possible.

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) said it will be allocating all resources at its disposal to support pilots affected.

BALPA general secretary Jim McAuslan said: “Our hearts go out to the large number of BMI HQ-based staff who appear to have borne the brunt of today’s announcement.

“Each job loss is a personal tragedy and BALPA will be pressing for maximum redeployment opportunities for all BMI pilots, including BMI Mainline, BMIBaby and BMI Regional, inside BA.

“These are uncertain times in the aviation industry and it is not helped by government aviation policy on air passenger duty which is pricing many passengers out of the market.”

Discussions with potential buyers for company subsidiaries BMIbaby and BMI Regional are continuing.

Morning Star  

Next article – ILO condemns detention of Ivory Coast unionist

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