BA buyers working for free

5 July 2009

06 July 2009 | Jake Kanter

The "vast majority" of British Airways (BA) buyers have volunteered to sacrifice their salary for a month.

Head of procurement Tim Richardson told SM most of his team had opted to work without pay or take unpaid leave.

Last month all BA staff were asked to "play their part" in helping the firm cut costs, by working part-time, taking unpaid leave or doing unpaid work.

Nearly 7,000 of BA's 40,000 employees agreed to salary cuts, saving the company an estimated £10 million. The cuts were effective from the start of July and staff chose to spread them over three or six months.

Richardson said: "We've had a fantastic response within procurement, with most staff taking between one and three weeks' unpaid leave, or doing unpaid work."

Asked if he will be working unpaid, Richardson said "absolutely".

BA chief executive Willie Walsh, who is also working for nothing this month, said the response proved individuals can make a "significant" difference. The company said it is likely to ask staff to volunteer for a similar scheme later in the year.

As SM went to press, BA was in talks with trade unions over possible job losses and pay freezes.

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