Holidaymakers face further disruption at airports this summer after BA staff demanded a 10 per cent pay rise they claim was “stolen” from them last year, as they faced what they called “fire and rehire tactics”.
Labour has been pushing for the Government to legislate to stop “fire and rehire”, which involves an employer dismissing workers before hiring them again on different, less favourable terms.
Mr Lammy was “categorical” in saying he did not support the check-in workers’ action during an interview with the BBC’s Sophie Raworth on Sunday.
“Many of us might want a rise of 10 per cent – in truth, most people understand it’s unlikely that you’re going to get that,” he said. Asked whether he supported the planned action, he said: “No, I don’t. No, I don’t – it is a no, it’s a categorical no.”
In his letter to constituents, seen by The Mirror, Mr Lammy said he had “misheard” the journalist’s question.
“When she said that workers wanted to reverse a previous pay cut of 10 per cent, I mistakenly understood it to mean that they were seeking an above-inflation pay rise,” he wrote.
“I was not across the details of the case. It is right that those of us in public life admit when we have made a mistake. With this in mind, I apologise to all BA workers.
“During the pandemic, BA workers were threatened with shameful ‘fire and rehire’ tactics and had their pay slashed. That’s why I supported Labour’s call for ‘fire and rehire’ to be banned in 2020, as well as aviation sector support with a clear commitment to protect skilled workers and working conditions in the industry.”