What would you do if your firm asked you to work for nothing?
British Airways has asked its 40,000 staff to work without pay for up to a month as the ailing airline seeks to cut costs. The group, which made a record £401 million loss in 2008 amid surging fuel prices and a collapse in premium-fare passengers, is seeking to reduce costs dramatically and has already offered staff unpaid leave or a reduction in hours.
Willie Walsh, BA’s chief executive, has now gone a step further by asking staff to volunteer for between one and four weeks of unpaid work in what he says is a “fight for survival.” Mr Walsh, who said last week that he would work for free in July, has set a deadline of June 24 for employees to volunteer for unpaid work. He said that the salary deductions would be spread over three to six months wherever possible.
Wouldn't it be more honest if BA simply said to the staff we need to cut salaries by 5 percent. This "work for free" idea looks a lot like a publicity stunt.