June 17th, 2009
07:32 PM GMT
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So British Airways is asking its staff to volunteer to work for upto a month for free. (The Chief Executive has already said he is working in July for no pay!)

It all seems a bit topsy turvy. After all normally, I turn up for work. I do my job. I get paid. I go home. that natural order has been changed by BA's new suggestion. In a moment of generosity, it has even agreed the staff can spread the loss of wages over six months.

BA has had an existing scheme inviting staff to take a month unpaid leave for some time. The airline says this latest development came about because some staff wanted to part but their work wouldn't allow them to be out of the office for that long. Bingo. Now you can still help out. Come to work. For Free. BA is quite clear. This is a voluntary scheme. No-one will be forced to do this. I believe them.

What I find tricky is how this will work in reality. Some staff will want to justify why they couldn’t take part ? Others will join in because they feel they have to.

There will be BA managers who will view staff unfavourably if they didn’t take part especially when promotions are up for grabs. I can hear the private whispers…..He wasn’t a team player. She didn’t pitch in. I Did my bit  It will create two tiers – those who pitched in…and those who didn’t.

It has overtures of, "Daddy … what did you do in the war?"

Would you work for free to help out?

soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Christian

    I would, assuming I believed in the future success of the company. Working for free is an investment – if it ain't gonna yield results, it ain't worth it.

    June 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm |
  2. wlidlyin

    I think it is a good idea for those who are in a high enough position to be able to afford it, so long as there are rewards when times are better...I wish more CEO's would do this to save their companies from BK!

    June 17, 2009 at 7:38 pm |
  3. Tom

    I work for a congresswoman for free almost everyday! Totally worth it because I know it has a greater impact on the world than doing something less meaningful for money. I don't know that I would work for free for some corporation, though. Probably not.

    June 17, 2009 at 7:40 pm |
  4. Ken Lundberg

    Would I work for free? Of course. As soon as hell freezes over.

    June 17, 2009 at 7:42 pm |
  5. Christian Schultz

    Working in corporate comms myself I can't help but wonder that when BA communicates that staff can work one month for free a year is just a "newsworthy" way of saying that they are looking to find staff who are willing to take an approx. 8.5% paycut....it certainly is getting coverage, but not sure what BA hopes to gain from it in terms of getting the publicity, perhaps happy analysts...

    June 17, 2009 at 7:44 pm |
  6. ola

    BA's CEO has no clue. he earns 60grand a month. Surely he can afford to work fo free. No one in his/her right mind should be expected to work without pay.

    A company like BA should be able to recruit highly skilled workforce to continuously deduce means of adjusting to varying market conditions. If the CEO cannot motivated his workforce then he is not fit for purpose.

    June 17, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  7. Panthea

    You're probably right about management's perception of those who don't participate, but I agree with that perception. Promotions, raises, opportunities should go to those willing to step-up. I like your concluding analogy.

    June 17, 2009 at 7:49 pm |
  8. Gary

    Working class working for nothing in the year 2009?? This isn't progression. CEO's working a month for nothing isn't a problem and infact most wouldn't notice the loss! We have to remember why we are in this economic mess and at what level of mis-management got us here in the first place! It's about time the Generals took some responsibility and stopped sending the front line over the top to get fired at first!

    June 17, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  9. Christian Schultz

    With global companies reacting in different ways to the economic challenges, it would be very interesting indeed to see the BA CEO addressing the following question on QMB;

    "How come it is only BA staff in the UK that has to work for free when BA staff in neighbouring countries such as Denmark haven't been given the same offer?"

    June 17, 2009 at 7:50 pm |
  10. Katherine

    Our company reduced everyones' pay 10% (but then granted RSUs to help compensate for it). Then we asked everyone to take off one week per quarter (using vacation time if they have it). I took the time off but ended up working anyway. I guess, in essence, it's pretty much the same thing that BA has done.

    June 17, 2009 at 7:51 pm |
  11. Remi

    I work for a US charity in Nigeria and although i appreciate that the pay is decent, i told the UK HR agency that recruited me i would work for free if the charity needed me to do so and this was well before the meltdown. I still stand by it provided it's borne out of a genuine need.

    June 17, 2009 at 7:53 pm |
  12. jordan

    BA is not the only one who has bills to pay.

    June 17, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  13. Melanie

    This move is to save money right? I'd work a month free if it guarantees to save me from a 15 month unemployment problem.

    June 17, 2009 at 7:54 pm |
  14. Kylofon

    Times are hard, and a company is a team effort. At times like these I see nothing wrong with sacrificing and reaping reawards in the future (like still having your job!). If you don't want to risk with the rest of the staff, don't expect a promotion. Why should you? It's that easy.

    June 17, 2009 at 8:08 pm |
  15. Craig

    As a cost-cutting exercise it's a pretty bold move.
    If the alternative is to have redundancies and this prevents it, where's the problem?

    Make choices you can live with

    June 17, 2009 at 8:19 pm |
  16. Kent Beck

    I'd trade free work for a significantly bigger slice of profit sharing. If BA wants to cut salaries they should just be honest and do it.

    June 17, 2009 at 8:25 pm |
  17. Matt Hudson

    The senior managers get paid the salaries that they do to make decisions and successfully navigate the business through both the highs and lows. Appreciating that hindsight is 20-20, they should have planned for downturns and acted accordingly.

    I would not work for free and would see it as a failure of management to even have to ask. The ramifications are of course going to be the two tiers once everything is back to normal.

    I'd not be working for fee but spending time with family and putting my efforts into finding a new job.

    June 17, 2009 at 8:46 pm |
  18. Adams, Saad

    To help out! Why not? However, my gesture will be projected upon the prospect of thing getting better. Can't sink while others are happily swimming and smilling to the bank.

    June 17, 2009 at 8:47 pm |
  19. Claude

    It shows that this Ceo did not predict well enough the economic downturn.
    Surely though, someone would think that after all that money thrown away, ie 350 millions pounds fine for price fixing and the complete fiasco on the T5 opening fiasco, which lost $$$$, just to name a few, they would now not be in that financial mess.
    It looks like this Ceo is definetely not suitable for his position, so that is another $ 80 millions a month salary thrown down the drain!!

    June 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
  20. Roma

    I don't think it's as simple as a yes or no. Some people might be able to make the ends meet, for others it can be more difficult. It's not always a question of being a team player or not either, due to individual circumstances. Some employees are maybe able to accept to work for free and others would be able to accept some sort of temporary pay reduction. That kind of flexibility from the companies could even neutralise some of the private whisper. Why can't BA try other alternatives that worked before like HP's 'loyalty' scheme in the 60s or 70s (don't remember exactly). Personally I think that if corporations would remember to reward the employees when times are good they wood probably experience more loyalty and willingness to sacrifice in bed times.

    June 17, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  21. Saleem Serri Najari

    it's the sarcasm of the capitalism ... when the macroeconomic factors play for the benifit of the firm so it outpreforms it's planned (expected) profits noone takes the advantage of that except the shareholders and the board members
    but when the macroeconomic factors threaten the profits yielded by the firm... the labor is the one to pay for that , while the big shots still get their high rated (and sometimes even overrated) salaries
    forgetting a very important principle saying that this labor form a bigger consumer category to the most industries/services than the board members do
    since i heard the british airways news i can't think about anything else than santana's song "maria " as he says : " the rich is getting richer and the poor is getting poorer ,,

    June 17, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  22. Ramon Insua

    I agree with Christian. If the company were worth it I would. It depends entirely if you are happy with your current position and do see a future for yourself in that firm, and believe in the success it can achieve. Of course I am thinking one month for free... Longer I wouldn't know.

    June 17, 2009 at 9:20 pm |
  23. karvictho

    I'd work for free if it trained me to do something marketable (like using certain computer programs), and I could put on my resume that I worked for the company. In otherwords, I'd do a practical if I had no choice and thought it would make me marketable. If I were asked to work for free for a firm I was already employed at I'd want some sort of reimbursement in the end. Like, a promise of a raise when it was possible or the equivalent in paid vacation, and a guarantee that before the company hired full-time employees I'd be returned to full-time employment at my old salary, along with the above mentioned compensation.

    June 17, 2009 at 9:50 pm |
  24. BA CREW

    I will be happy to work free for a month if our CEO promises to hand in his resignation. He his nothing but trouble.

    June 17, 2009 at 10:13 pm |
  25. Cara

    Yes! I am 20, young and half-educated, 4.0 gpa, looking to get in the door someway to anywhere and would love to travel for free! Let them know they can hire me any day!

    June 17, 2009 at 10:21 pm |
  26. Rikki: ND, USA

    Whether or not I would work for no wages would really depend on the company I am working for. If I truly believe in the company and am incredibly satisfied with my work life then I believe that yes I would work for a time free of charge. But in my current job the stress involved with it...working for a month with no pay is so not worth it.

    June 17, 2009 at 10:51 pm |
  27. Claudia Salas

    As a pilot I felt I should be paying for the planes I was flying...so I guess if it were to fly them again, I definitely would! I'm a mum now, not flying anymore:-(

    June 17, 2009 at 11:29 pm |
  28. Maureen

    I am willing to take leave, unpaid so im free to persue other things, but why should I put on that uniform and come into work, fly for hours on end working wthout pay? BA provide us with nothing in terms of meals or drinks when we are away from home, so not only are we working for free.... but also shelling out money to live!

    June 17, 2009 at 11:35 pm |
  29. Claudia Wanessa

    No way!!!!!

    June 17, 2009 at 11:58 pm |
  30. Craig Eyles

    Absolutely no way would I work for free. This is condradictory to what I do as a volunteer for community radio, but the deal was I already knew that.
    If I was working as an employee, I'd want my pay cheque.
    Why should the little people get the blame for the mistakes of the CEO's??

    June 18, 2009 at 12:14 am |
  31. philip

    Iam cabin crew and i want Ba to survive this difficult period,
    however how can willy walsh expect his cabin crew to work for free when he is trying to SMASH AND GRAB their terms and conditions resulting in us taking a 30% PAYCUT.
    At the same time getting rid of 2000 of us.
    This CEO can not be trusted.

    June 18, 2009 at 12:25 am |
  32. Olandrus Dickson

    I could work a month for free IFF it is a sincere scheme to keep the entity afloat...and guarantee me a job in these trouble times! But the BA move 'stinks'. Something sinister is going on....trust me on this Richie!

    June 18, 2009 at 12:35 am |
  33. Nancy in Minneapolis

    Richard: A friend of mine works for a firm that asked everyone to take a 5% cut in pay until the crisis passes. This I understand. There may even be an esprit d'corps involved here; everyone knows that jobs are being saved. Then there are "furloughs" – unpaid leaves, but at least then you can play with your kids or sell stuff on Ebay. I understand this, too. But work without pay for a month? They must be insane. Sounds like some modern form of slavery.

    June 18, 2009 at 2:02 am |
  34. OMS

    .... if I earned 61000 UK/month, I would work for 9 months 'without pay' !!! I hate the arogance of top management!!

    June 18, 2009 at 3:34 am |
  35. T.Clark

    I work for free twittering, facebook, blogging on popularist sites. But regarding having regular paychecks, some benefits, a solid past and if you choose a future, with a company, it may be necessary to do with out a month or two. However, only down side I see, is there is no security, no guarantees... you still can get canned, your job phased out or, future paychecks axed. Although resentment may hurt someone, dealing honestly will soften the blow, if people realize how much it costs to keep a company going, and a paycheck coming in. Too many primadonnas have screwed up content of character plan, with packaging, instead of substance needed to efficiently run job at hand.

    June 18, 2009 at 3:45 am |
  36. Dumisani

    I would do it only if I were paid enough to afford going for a month without pay.

    June 18, 2009 at 5:14 am |
  37. manfred

    one word one world "yes"

    June 18, 2009 at 6:16 am |
  38. nyowe

    Increasing innovative ways for firms to adjust to challenging times is good.

    Always thought it a sign of the failure of management that layoffs are a quick route for commercial survival in tough times. Akin to getting rid of some of your children when times are tough.

    Unusual as it seems, BA, is trying to work as a family on a budget. Cash flows may be tight but who says companies should go on a diet of innovative ideas?

    Out of the box thinking should be put in the box!

    June 18, 2009 at 6:52 am |
  39. Felix

    I would work for free als long my workplace is save, in my opinion one month without money isn't as bad as to lose a job but I hope that the BA workers will be paid all the other months!

    June 18, 2009 at 7:16 am |
  40. AlAnim

    Richard, this is quite a foot in the door move that i am forced to think may lead to other demands been thrown in; how about the chief executive and directors paying for the losses of the organisation? I would work for free only if i am forced to, nothing more!

    June 18, 2009 at 8:03 am |
  41. LuGuanCheng

    Of course it is okay to work for FREE. Let's get the company to pay for big tickets goods having installment or going to have.........is a very good idea

    June 18, 2009 at 9:32 am |
  42. Kika

    The question is whether the top management would also be willing to share their nice benefits? Getting a regular salary there and making £60k+ a month is quite different. My thinking would be to suggest the top management to try and work for a year without pay leaving regular employees alone. £60k x 12 would “save” BA £720k a year! Why to ask a hundred employees who would be lucky if they make £30k a year to give up their salaries? I am sure that the CE could definitely survive with minimal loses if he does not take his pay. That would certainly show his commitment to the business and his willingness to take responsibility.

    June 18, 2009 at 9:35 am |
  43. steve

    I would do so with the guarantee that my one month salary "investestment" in the Company would be repaid threefold if I were canned within 3 years.

    June 18, 2009 at 9:39 am |
  44. Bhuwan Thapaliya

    Yes, I would...No, I wouldn't....Let me read John Keynes, Paul Krugman, David Ricardo and all first...Then I would let you know....What's the opportunity cost of working for free?

    June 18, 2009 at 9:56 am |
  45. Heather

    Willie Walsh, British Airways CEO, may be offering to work for free for one month, but sadly he has not shunned his bonus for that month. His annual bonus amounts to 150% of his salary. How about proposing that BA staff all agree to no bonus (for cabin crew that equates to roughly a maximum of weeks wage per annum)?? I think that all staff would agree to that Willie, but would you or your other fat cat management who enjoy 100% upwards bonus agree to it???

    June 18, 2009 at 10:28 am |
  46. RedGrouper

    Many people do extra hours in their job already for free, either to improve their performance or pitch in to get a particular job done for the benefit of customers or colleagues. People's promotability etc will depend on their value in the job market at the time. People who pitch in might get fleeting thanks but I don't think it will affect their career one way or the other.

    June 18, 2009 at 10:50 am |
  47. jim

    Work for free. ARBEIT MACHT FREI. This reminds me of the NAZI-Germany regime, who sent millions of JEWS to theForced Labour Camps. I will never, ever work for anyone free, not to talk of a company like BA. Shame on you the Ceo´s.

    June 18, 2009 at 10:56 am |
  48. Jordan

    I would not , there are many other ways to reduce operating costs. If a major company I was a part of could not come up with better ways to reduce expenditure I would be considering a change.

    It reeks of desperation and/or laziness

    June 18, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  49. D. Lewis

    It depends on the situation. One could argue that you’re really not working for free if it saves your job. I would need to take many things into consideration.

    First, how well has my company treated me before the request? A greedy, inflexible, and tyrannical business should expect nothing but the same in return from their employees. The excuse “it’s just business” can work both ways. After all, we are one person businesses. You can count the entire family as a business if you wish. Personally I think Americans need to start thinking of themselves as businesses, instead of simple employees. As an employee, your moral values often override your quest for profit. As a business, profit is the priority! Let’s not kid ourselves; profit is generated by pulling off a biased trade. You ask for more value than you give.

    Secondly, can I afford it? There are not many employers that have been doing a good job of keeping up with the skyrocketing CPI over the years. In more and more households, both parents are now working to pay the bills, yet still surviving on credit. Who do we send to work next, the kids? At one time saving a “nest egg” was a standard practice. Now, for many families, it’s a dream. “Savings potential” or ability is the real difference between the rich and poor, for anyone that cannot understand why taxes are high for the rich. They can afford it!

    Additionally, keeping America and Americans in debt is big business! In many cases, we’re working for and therefore assisting the financial beast that feeds off American debt! Some people would push the idea that a person should take and do any job, for any pay, to be self sufficient. That’s exactly the idea that keeps wages low and shady businesses is operation. It does nothing to counter the CPI! It’s a moral value imposed on people that business does not accept on itself.

    Bottom line, if I can’t afford weeks without a paycheck, I won’t. We’re talking about survival here. Loyalty doesn’t put food on the table. I kept up my part of the deal as an employee. It’s the executives that did a real poor job of running the business that should take the blame and the pay hit. Leadership is always to blame!

    Lastly, is it really going to work? A lot of businesses give too much credit to their payrolls when it comes to saving money. Frankly, there are too many poorly ran businesses and unrealistic business models, and that is the main problem! The payrolls are any easy target because it’s an obvious expense. That often leads some companies ignoring the poor quality of their product, which cannot sustain the profit pipe dream they’ve concocted. Some are just so out of touch with their consumers, they will never understand why they cannot sell their products. In general, business has given up on consumer satisfaction and meeting consumer needs. The name of the game is now consumer persuasion and deception. Marketing has always been part of business but never before has it been so blatantly dishonest. If my company was like that, I would assume that my sacrifice of pay would be pointless. Companies like that don’t deserve to survive. I might as well hold onto my guns and see what happens.

    This whole question identifies the problem with the employee “slave” mentality. Stop calling yourself an employee and think of yourself as a business. Stop feeling bad for wanting to make as much profit as you can, that’s what businesses do. Stop working for bad companies and accepting low wages. Stop doing business with companies that offer bad products (cheap imports) and poor customer service. If we could do that in America, we’d do a lot of good for economy and our own pocketbooks.

    June 18, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  50. Ahmad

    I would work for free for a month if it helps the company to survive the crisis. I would prefer that to letting people go and to permanent pay cuts.

    I also agree that it's hard to do it voluntarily. Everyone should take part even some need advanced notice and would do it a month later.

    June 18, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  51. Karthik

    If the employees accept the deal, next year when there are profits from BA, the bonus will however be scooped by the senior management that decided it.

    June 18, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  52. sandra

    YES!!!! and I will enjoy every minute of it.
    after all some organisations make people work for months without pay under the name of COMMISSION WORKERS with not as little as transport allowance.

    June 18, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  53. Seamus Gould

    Absolutely I would it it were to help the company survive, for everyone's future

    June 18, 2009 at 11:56 am |
  54. Obed

    Sure!! Why not? I will do it if they double my monthly salary for the next month.

    June 18, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  55. BA crew

    It shows just how out of touch Mr Walsh and his cronies are with his front line staff if he thinks we can afford to work without pay. His month without pay is nothing but a pathetic, hollow, headline grabbing gesture and should be seen as such. I would love him to work as crew for a month and see how he deals without sleep, jet lag, embarrassingly insufficient and poor quality catering and broken entertainment systems. All this whilst trying to deliver excellent customer service and not get paid.

    June 18, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  56. renka

    Well, I wouldn't want to be flying on a plane that has been maintenanced by someone pressured into working a month for free. I wonder if BA has considered how customers may perceive the quality of work during this time??

    June 18, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  57. Rhuey46

    Can I go work for BA for free to get some work experience?

    June 18, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  58. Allan

    NO WAY !! You work for money,,NO MONEY NO WORK!! RISE UP and just say "HELL NO!!"

    June 18, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  59. Trae

    If I were close to going bankrupt, would my company give me a free month's pay if I asked for it?

    June 18, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  60. JerryZ

    So what is the payback/incentive? What is the reward? Guaranteed that upper management will get some payback/ if they participate. I would also bet that most of the workers get screwed. Just ask the United employees and union members what they got for cooperating with the corporation.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  61. Jose

    Not in a million years! It's unfair and unjust to ask all workers to give up one months' salary, when the top tier (the CEO makes over 20 times what a flight attendant makes) could afford to work for free for many months, but that would not be the case for an average worker (bag handler, flight attendant).

    June 18, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  62. stowe

    hi qest i don't see it as working for free because those asked to, are part of the company it a way of helping the company not to go into bankruptcy,and eventually they will loss their jobs.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  63. jose

    what a nerve this ceo has! he and his predeccessors put BA into this mess and now asks for sacrifices he and the upper management will not take, i would like to see him work for a year without pay and that includes all benefits and expense accounts!!

    June 18, 2009 at 1:17 pm |
  64. amit bajaria

    Work for free.............. , Yes sure , if my CEO does the same ...........
    It would be my duty to work free in the turbulent times to save my company from drowning as in the great times it had served me better .

    It's nothing unusual for such big corporations sending such requests to it's staff members , infact i salute BA for taking such a patriotic step instead of Termination in the already record high jobless market .

    June 18, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  65. Lili

    if my company-management ist one of those that showed me that they care for their employees in good and bad times... then yes, i would work for free.

    June 18, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  66. cristina

    Pilots should NEVER be asked to work for free. The very idea of a disgruntled, less-than-perfectly-content pilot makes me queasy. As someone with a tremendous fear of flying and deep awe of what these people commit to do every day – I think they should name their price in terms of salary. I know this is not how it works in the free market, but these people really deserve a whole lot more than they are making anyway. But asked to work for free? Yes, it is wonderful for the CEOs to think of strategies to increase profits while reducing costs (with Lord knows what sort of impacts on safety) while paying themselves out of he ying-yang. Then go to the Pilots and ask them to "fast together!!". Oh please. No way under the sun would I ever agree with that (if asked), even if the pilots themselves would go with it. How about the CEO-s take all the cuts they can bear and leave the pilots' salaries alone? I do not have any pilot in my immediate family – but goodness, some decency is called for!

    June 18, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  67. Nonso.D.Nwaorah

    In terms economic crisis in the contry.Exchange has been affecting we, as business traders.So my comment on this issue is, can this problem be solve because it affecting our economy standard

    June 18, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  68. Sima

    Yes, for a company or organization that I believe in, and which makes me feel like a valued member of a team. But for an entity which considers it employees as expendable, I'd have serious doubts.

    I commend companies that are seeking creative ways to keep their employees employed. For most people, working less hours for less pay is better than losing a job altogether.

    June 18, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  69. angela

    Yeh right Big guy , this is a good idea and also i am sure you are not forcing anyone here. Its those who want ( voluntary) if you feel you can do so go for it, of cause there is recession going on but ehy you never know the aftermath of this move. Go for it guys we need people like this in these times.

    June 18, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  70. Denise

    Trust the British top-brass to come up with "unmentionable chores" for the hirelings to do!

    Where else, pray tell, would senior management ask its workers to bear the brunt of an equally-affective economic circumstance?

    Maybe such arrogant presumption has much to do with subliminal (...and FRAUDULENT...!) notions of a Monarch's Power over its Serfs.

    June 18, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  71. Howard

    To: Willie Walsh

    I am sure different airlines have got different stories and challenges, so I invite you to take a hard look on this one first...

    Video: http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/business/2008/11/02/lah.japan.ceo.pay.cut.cnn

    Blog: http://business.blogs.cnn.com/tag/kyung-lah/

    June 18, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  72. Nina

    sure, if i could get the same guarantee from my mortgage company, utility companies and council tax etc that they would waive my legal commitment to pay those bills for a month and they would never ask me to repay them or charge me massive interest for the favour, then yeh, why not?

    June 18, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  73. kuwaitmirage

    Yes I was just saying to my husband this morning......"I think I will go and tell my boss to keep all my salary for thgis month, beause I really don't need to fill my car with petrol, buy food, pay the water and electricity,etc, etc and why on earth should I treat myself to a meal out now and then? I mean I don't need it, do I?

    Just a thought, but have BA asked any of the big cats to contribute just an 1/8th of their salaries this month? Now THAT might help....:)

    June 18, 2009 at 4:31 pm |
  74. orku

    It's really strange how you forget about Nokia N97 and Nokia smartphones being by far number one in the world in terms of sales.

    June 18, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  75. KM

    In my opinion, no one in their right mind will agree to "unconditionally" work for free. I expect that any of the BA top management that gives up pay now are doing so because they believe they will re-coup it later, perhaps they are being paid profit -sharing or other incentives that top of their pay depending on their achievements. As well, if one were to work for free, one would still have the expense of getting to and from work. So there is actually a financial cost to work for free. And what quality of work could be expected, would not workers be less apt to accept high levels of job stress such that customer service is likely to suffer? I cannot see that anyone who works for free would sustain their best efforts, unless they are gaining something that they value (e.g. work experience, new responsibilities, etc). WIll those who work for free at BA be guaranteed not being made redundant? If so, for how long?

    June 18, 2009 at 9:48 pm |
  76. Tom

    It would appear that the CEO of BA is in a round about way getting his staff to pay for his & his fellow directors dodgy dealings which resulted in millions of dollars of fines last year.
    It seems hardly fair that he should now ask his employees to work for free and why should they when he remains to earn thousands why his staff struggle on.

    June 19, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  77. Subbu Iyer

    First, we need to find the causes for a company like BA to be in a crisis mode. This will point to leadership decisions taken and not taken leading the company to this crisis. Then quantify the cost of the crisis and apportion them to be deducted from the salaries of the leaders. Once this is done, the deficit can then be spread for voluntary reduction from the staff across the world. I believe, it wont go beyond the first phase. So why doesn't the senior leadership and management do a "quick and dirty" causal analysis that is transparent and muti-directional?

    June 21, 2009 at 6:05 am |
  78. Ramadhani Abdulqadir

    Hey Guys!
    Working for free has got its purposes,
    Someone has got to be the right person needed for the Job,
    Why should anyone say ((no!))
    Don't Jurge, accept the costiquences will lead one of us to success,.

    June 21, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  79. cabincrew boy

    Yes Willie if you pay all my bills buy my food then yes i would,
    Or if you make sure you dont ask the staff to lose anything else like crew on flight more unpaidleave new contracts etc,
    Willie is so out of touch everyone in the company wants him out,
    He forgets that crew have to buy their own meals when they are away staying in a hotel too whats he want us to do starve,
    Very wise, and as for all passengers us staff you see everyday will continue to provide you with the very best we can please dont cancel your tickets and go with anyone else we are still here working for you and will contiune to get you to your destination with safety and service at the front of our minds as we always have done

    June 21, 2009 at 10:38 pm |
  80. Adewunmi

    Looking at the big picture, I do not think working for free is right, and some would say even in the small picture. The concept in itself, apart from helping the Company survive in the short term, is not going to help the wobbling economy recover, as it reduces the amount of disposable income available to employees. I think increases consumer demand for goods and services, will create the necessary incentives to growth and coupled with the right corporate strategy and prudence enable a company survive in the long term.
    Hence I am a bit bewildered by the wholesale bail out of banks and automakers, but little in the bail available to those currently working, but having difficulties, and to those unemployed. I guess the process is slow, but I believe BA is definitely sending out a wrong notion. Did they share profits with their employees when the going was good?
    The concept of working for free should be resisted by Unions.

    June 24, 2009 at 3:56 pm |

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