British Airways boss, Willie Walsh, has turned down his entitlement to a share award of £334,000 for the third year running. The airline’s chief executive has also agreed to have his pay frozen at £735,000, the same figure it has been at for the last two years.
Because Mr Walsh and other members of the BA board agreed that they would not take any pay for the month of July, Mr Walsh’s pay packet for last year amounted to £674,000. The decision to give up a month’s salary was made because the board wished to stress the fact that the airline needs to do all it can to cut costs in order to guarantee survival.
BA is currently in dispute with trade union Unite over cabin crew working conditions, pay and travel benefits. Assistant general secretary at Unite, Len McCluskey, said that there would have been outrage if Mr Walsh had accepted his bonus before sorting out the airline’s problems with the union.
Mr McCluskey added that under Mr Walsh’s leadership, BA had fostered a culture of bullying, become embroiled in a bitter dispute with its staff and driven customers away. A spokesman for the airline said that Mr Walsh’s decision to forgo his bonus for the third year in a row, was because he thought it might be inappropriate.
Last year BA announced that it had made pre-tax losses of £531 million. The airline’s chief financial officer, Keith Williams did accept his share bonus of £167,000. BA has defended this by saying that Mr Williams is probably has one of the lowest salaries of any of the FTSE-100 finance directors.