Thursday, June 18, 2009

British Airways staff's least favourite boss

Almost unbelievable suggestion from British Airways' boss Willie Walsh that rather than reducing the payroll by sacking staff, they should take a month's unpaid leave. He can afford to. In the good times, did BA share its profits with staff? So why change the rules when they're making a loss? Why should staff share in that?

A lot of businesses in Kenya struggling to survive last year after the double whammy of the post-election clashes plus the credit crunch bearing down on them, just sacked staff wholesale, or simply closed down or went dormant. The good ones tried alternative solutions. I was really impressed with the Pinewood, on Diani Beach. The manager there, Alnoor Kanji, told me it had been so quiet there was nothing for many staff to do, so he gave some of them extended leave on full pay, with the understanding (contractually or not, I don't know) that they would have to pay back the unworked days at some point in the future. Well, labour relations are altogether less formal and structured in Kenya and most of Kanji's staff on leave would have been looking after their shambas or doing some small trade (which would make working the days off in the future less onerous). It would be good to see businesses in the rich economies being equally creative. As you sow. . .etc.

No comments:

Post a comment