BRITISH AIRWAYS’ treatment of staff is a “disgrace” that should be debated in Parliament, an MP said yesterday.
Labour’s Kevin Brennan made the comment as cabin crew are set to go on strike on Sunday in a long-running dispute over pay.
The Cardiff West MP told the Commons: “Could we have a debate about our so-called national airline, British Airways?
“Because the manner in which they are treating their workforce — particularly the mixed fleet cabin crew — is a disgrace.
“They are mainly women, they are low paid and yet the airline is refusing to settle with a reasonable offer to them.
“Wouldn’t a debate enable us to expose our so-called national airline and the way they treat their workforce?”
The Unite union has been in a bitter dispute with the airline, complaining that it pays its mixed fleet staff, who joined the company in 2010, “poverty pay.” Their basic starting salary is just £12,192.
A Unite spokesman said: “Unite members working for British Airways’ mixed fleet welcome Kevin Brennan’s intervention and his call for a debate.
“It is only right that Parliament should debate and shine a light on the shameful behaviour of the UK’s national carrier and the poverty pay levels which are forcing hardworking cabin crew to take second jobs to make ends meet.”
Responding to Mr Brennan, Commons leader David Lidington said: “While this is obviously a matter for the company and the trade unions and employees concerned, the government would hope that all employers would take seriously their responsibilities to ensure their workforce is fairly rewarded.”