UNION bosses have slammed British Airways’ decision to cut jobs at three sites in south Wales as ‘devastating.’

BA has revealed that staff at its interiors plant at Hawtin Park in Blackwood will be part of a 45-day consultation period, with fears hundreds of jobs could be lost across South Wales.

The other two sites are the maintenance facility at Cardiff Airport, which employs more than 650 people, and the avionic engineering site at Llantrisant.


Richard Munn, regional officer for Unite, said: “This announcement by BA will have a devastating impact on our members and their families.

“It will also cause enormous hurt to the economy of South East Wales and communities that still bear scars from the deindustrialisation of the 1980s and 1990s.

“The proposals around job losses are combined with the company’s clear statement of intent to worsen terms and conditions and employment policies.

“It appears that those who remain in work will be substantially worse off as BA start a massive onslaught on their loyal and skilled workforce.”

A British Airways statement said: "We are acting now to protect as many jobs possible. The airline industry is facing the deepest structural change in its history, as well as facing a severely weakened global economy," it reads.

"We are committed to consulting openly with our unions and our people as we prepare for a new future."

The union also criticised BA for conducting its redundancy consultations while staff who are at risk are on furlough, a point echoed by Islwyn's Member of the Senedd Rhianon Passmore, who described the move as "very questionable."

“Many of those at risk of redundancy are currently furloughed under the Government’s Job Retention Scheme; a scheme clearly designed to ‘retain’ jobs,” said Mr Munn. “It also means that meaningful consultation is impossible.

“Unite therefore regard the consultation as unlawful and are demanding that BA rescind the notices of redundancy and enter in to meaningful talks with Unite.

“Unite will be doing all it can to support its members in BA at this present time.”