A spokesman for British Airways (BA) has confirmed that the airline is considering outsourcing its UK contact centre operations in a bid to reduce costs at its Manchester and Newcastle sites.
Branded “a slap in the face” to its employees by the trade union, Unite, BA – owned by International Airlines Group – has reportedly already asked outsourcing firms to assess the two call centre sites and bid for the jobs. Third-party firms have also been approached to submit proposals for potential cost-effective solutions to implement.
It is thought that a downturn in the aviation industry has prompted BA to make these cuts to compete with the popularity of low-cost airlines.
Consultation with union representatives and staff members will take place before a final decision is made, and the BA spokesman claims that outsourcing these jobs would enable the use of the latest technology to further improve customer service.
Oliver Richardson, Unite national officer, said in a statement published on the union’s website: “This review is nothing short of a slap in the face for hardworking staff who have constantly adapted to changing markets, while continuing to deliver the highest level of customer service.
“A cloud of uncertainty now hangs over the heads of workers who fear that their jobs will be outsourced or offshored as a result of this exercise. Such a scenario would lead to poorer customer service and a more fragmented experience for passengers.
“We urge IAG to resist the temptation to engage in a crude cost cutting exercise and repay its loyal workforce by keeping the customer service operations of our national carrier in–house.”