Workers and supporters from the Unite trade union gathered under Walton Bridge today (July 21) and appealed to MP Dominic Raab for support over their contracts with British Airways (BA).

In the summer heat demonstrators held aloft placards lamenting the airline's "betrayal" over their work contracts and future employment with the airline.

BA is accused by trade union Unite, who represent a number of BA employees including Esher and Walton residents, of floating plans to make its entire workforce of over 40,000 workers redundant and only re-hire those willing to take on an inferior terms contract following the impact of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"I have worked for BA for 45 years and like the 747 Jumbo Jet I am being forced onto the scrap heap and find it disgusting that BA is using a worldwide pandemic for corporate greed," one demonstrator from BA's Worldwide Cabin Crew said.

"I think it’s awful the way we are being treated," another cabin crew member commented.

"It’s having a massive impact on my mental health not knowing our future," they added.

"BA should do the right for their staff….this would the best PR they could wish for."

Esher and Walton MP and Foreign Secretary Raab previously told the Surrey Comet he was monitoring the situation closely and called for constructive negotiations between the airline giant and its workers in his constituency.

"I know this is very distressing news for BA employees and their families, and the Government stands ready to support them," Raab said, stopping short of voicing support for a current campaign to change BA's access to its most lucrative slots at Heathrow in response to its Covid reaction.

"Airlines, like many other businesses, have faced big economic challenges during the pandemic, but where companies want to change the terms and conditions of employment, these should be negotiated and agreed between employer and employee – not arbitrarily imposed," Raab added.

"I am monitoring this situation very closely and listen to the views of those affected in Esher and Walton constituency."

BA said previously any plans for job losses or changes in contracts were floated with a view to consultation and that no redundancies have been confirmed so far.

The Unite union, that represents many BA employees in the area, continue to call for sanctions against the airline after detailing the detrimental impact they say it has caused its workers.

"BA controls over half the landing slots at Heathrow," Unite's Sharron Graham pointed out.

"It is simply wrong for BA to have privileged access to landing slots while its workforce are being sacrificed for shareholder profits."

A campaign to strip the airline of a number of its most lucrative spots at Heathrow is supported by over 100 MPs including Labour Leader Keir Starmer.

BA workers at Walton Bridge on Tuesday meanwhile called for BA's CEO Willie Walsh and Chairman Alex Cruz to act in their interests:

"I think that Willie Walsh and Alex Cruz need to step up, rethink and come up with a reasonable solution," a Eurofleet purser said.

"I have been working for BA for 26 years and am devastated they will not be honouring our contracts," a cabin crew member added.