‘Summer of chaos’ predicted after members forced to watch disabled customers and babies sleep in airport
GMB members working for British Airways have been spat and abused as the airline cancelled flights following IT problems this weekend.
The union lays the blame for the disruption on the decision to outsource IT systems to India in 2016 - as well as years of chronic underinvestment in the business.
In a letter to BA CEO Sean Doyle, the union describes how workers were forced to tell disabled customers they had to sleep in the airport and watch as families put their babies to sleep on luggage.
Morale among the workforce is at rock bottom after British Airways’ fire and rehire threat during the pandemic left thousands with worse pay, terms and conditions, the letter adds.
Nadine Houghton, GMB National Officer, said:
“This weekend our members have been spat at, suffered homophobic abuse and watched as disabled customers and babies were forced to sleep in the airport.
“It didn’t have to be this way – but underinvestment in the business, plus the decision in 2016 to make hundreds of dedicated and loyal IT staff redundant and outsource the work to India are taking their toll.
“Moral is at an all-time low after BA’s shameful attack on workers during the pandemic.
“Our experienced, dedicated and hardworking members fear this is now just the tip of the iceberg for the airline with a summer of chaos now a very real prospect.
"GMB invites Mr Doyle to walk a mile in their shoes and hear directly about the lasting impact BA's failed fire and rehire policy is having on the very members you are now relying on to rebuild the airline.”