UNION officials and MPs will protest outside the i360 tomorrow against British Airways job cuts.

Protesters will gather at 11am tomorrow outside the BA-sponsored attraction weeks after a Parliament committee led by Bexhill MP Huw Merriman claimed it was using the coronavirus pandemic as a “calculated attempt to cut jobs and weaken the terms and conditions of its remaining employees”. British Airways owner International Airlines Group rejected these allegations in a letter to Mr Merriman.

The Conservative MP will appear at the protest tomorrow alongside Hove MP Peter Kyle, Brighton Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, and officials from trade union Unite.

The airline plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs as profits decline due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Argus: British Airways plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemicBritish Airways plans to cut up to 12,000 jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic

Union executive officer Sharon Graham said British Airways should be stripped of some of its flight slots if makes continuous cuts.

“The airline is using the worst health crisis in a century to slash jobs, pay and conditions,“ she claimed.

“Unite negotiates with thousands of employers. No other employer has acted like British Airways during this health crisis.

"British Airways is putting its market power, lucrative landing slots and its loyal customer base at risk by adopting a scorched earth approach. There have to be consequences to BA’s behaviour.”

A British Airways spokeswoman said it was acting to prevent as many job losses as possible.

"The airline industry is facing the deepest structural change in its history, as well as facing a severely weakened global economy," she said.

"We call on Unite and GMB to consult with us on our proposals as our pilot union, Balpa, is doing.

"Working together we can protect more jobs as we prepare for a new future."

  • At The Argus, we are championing the work of traders during the coronavirus pandemic as part of our #BackingSussexBusiness campaign. We are always interested to hear how the community is coming together in this crisis. If you know of a local business battling to do all it can in these tough times and/or offering support to the local community, please get in touch at laurie.churchman@theargus.co.uk and rose.lock@theargus.co.uk.