PROTESTORS gathered in Reading on Thursday (August 6) to call for concrete action over British Airways' 'fire and rehire' scheme.

BA workers and constituents in Reading West called on MP Alok Sharma to support BA workers amid growing anger over the company's intention to fire its workforce and rehire those that survive on inferior contracts.

A socially-distanced protest took place in Tilehurst, which saw employees and constituents gather to oppose what has collectively been deemed 'BA Betrayal'.

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Pictures show people holding up signs saying 'British Airways stop betraying workers'.

An organiser from Unite said: "British Airways are using this terrible health pandemic to make drastic and unnecessary permanent cuts.

"BA is a wealthy company that can probably afford to ride out the crisis.

"Instead they have chosen to take taxpayers money whilst decimating their British workforce.

A BA spokesman said: "For more than 100 years British Airways has been flying millions of people around the world. Today that world remains largely closed. "This is the biggest challenge the airline and our industry has ever faced.

"Sadly, the global pandemic has resulted in job losses across every industry. Many airlines have already made thousands of staff redundant.

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"We are not immune to this crisis. We have to adapt to survive, so we will continue with the proper, lawful consultative process and we will keep inviting union representatives to discuss our proposals to the serious challenges we face.

"It is not too late to find solutions – as we have done with BALPA – and to protect jobs."