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June 17, 2009
Posted: 1513 GMT

British Airways is offering some of its employees a four-week unpaid leave, with the option to work. What would you do?

Filed under: I-Desk Poll


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Kevin Markette`   June 17th, 2009 4:22 pm ET

If the future of my job depended on a month of unpaid work, I wouldnt think twice and naturally do it – Longterm security is more important than shortterm money.

William Walsh   June 17th, 2009 4:23 pm ET

Top Executives should start working for $1 one year...
That would save a lot of money.... or what about returning some of the stock they earned ...that could help as well.

I think that email is an insult to BA employees.

Work for free to save my job?   June 17th, 2009 4:24 pm ET

It sounds like a good idea, and but for one thing, I would consider it: if people did this, it would not be long before the bean-counters worked the factor into a company's profit and loss equation–meaning the requirement to occasionally work for free would steadily become a commonplace and accepted strategy, thus to allow for more of such things as undeserved golden handshakes.

It might even become a question on job applications.

Nicholas Damianos   June 17th, 2009 4:26 pm ET

Sounds like extortion to me. Employees are being 'offered' work for no pay, which could easily mean 'work for nothing, try to pay your bills somehow...we may or may not lay you off after. If you don't opt to work for no pay, chances you'll keep your job are slim.'

Surely even allowing an employee to work for a month with no pay is illegal! If not, high-demand jobs would throw in little 'unpaid vacations' all the time!

Matthew Scott   June 17th, 2009 4:29 pm ET

I have been offering to work for FREE 3 Months to companies here in Dallas ... and can get no interest. I am highly qualified for the jobs I am applying for. The problem is, I got laid-off by Texas Instruments ... and thus am considered bottom 6%. But, all the H-1B foreigners were kept, while me and another senior American were let go. I am a 12 year US Navy Vet, have an MSEE, was voted top 14% by T.I. managers, and can prove that I outperform all the H-1B's. But, I suspect the real reason I got laid off, is that – while we were working in Germany for TI, my wife was used for HUMAN EXPERIMENTATION in ... and then we were forced to leave Germany because the German surgeons then refused to treat U.S. Citizens! I showed the rejection notes to my TI bosses, but they ignored me. I showed them the notes from German lawyers who refused to take our case to court. I was forced to take my wife to L.A. to have her Prodisc Artificial Disc Removed ... costing us $130,000. My wife is crippled now, and in constant pain. While we were in L.A. (since T.I. was ignoring my pleas for a transfer back to the USA), I interviewed with Intel, and was offered a managers job. When we returned to Germany (to pack and leave), my bosses in Dallas finally caved in and offered me a job (for about $40K less than Intel's offer) ... but, only if I paid my own way back. I took TI's offer ... out of loyalty to the company I had worked at for 15 years ... and all my friends. I had no idea I would be replaced with H-1B at the first opportunity. Since TI forbids its employees from giving recommendations to fired-staff, I can no prove my performance. As well, TI is withholding my performance reviews. I have been essentially black-listed from America.
Now ... I'm begging companies to work for FREE 3 months ... no obligations ... and I can get no response.

Sue   June 17th, 2009 4:29 pm ET

I have not worked for a year. And the reason I am not panicking is because I managed my finances properly before the recession and still do by making wise purchases and still enjoy my time off since I have to take it. I am doing my part by travelling and contributing to the economy with my extended holidays. Now, if a company needs its employees to take unpaid leave that is one thing but to be unpaid and still work, then there is something very wrong with that company and I would look to jump ship if I could. When the company is thriving employees get very little benefits and now when the company is crippled, they expect the employees to take the fall. I am sorry. BA needs to get its act together.

kojo   June 17th, 2009 4:37 pm ET

is better to loose one month salary than to loose your job, at least it will save the whole family lifetime.

Md. Aseer Jubair Khan Majlish.   June 17th, 2009 6:08 pm ET

Job without money is not acceptable. Because if we let British Airways go from this sort of undesired agreement, tomorrow other airlines will do the same thing. People work to earn their living not work to be blackmailed.

David Bories   June 17th, 2009 7:24 pm ET

Does the Organization give a 13th month bonus when they make profits? If Yes. Then Yes I will work for free one month. Else No. No way.

Stephan   June 17th, 2009 7:27 pm ET

Work fro free? In ancient Rome or Egypt or on the cotton fields of the USA slaves at least got 2 or 3 meals a day in exchange for their work. Willie Walsh evidently considers the BA-staff's work not worth that not to speak of their full pay. This means he obviously will be long gone when those he asks for free work now will leave to enjoy their pensions,

Stephan
from Germany

Jo   June 17th, 2009 7:28 pm ET

I hear so many people complaining about having too much work or having to take reduced hours.....
Believe me once out of work it is really hard to find anything else!!! These people need to think themselves lucky to have an option.

paul nitschmann   June 17th, 2009 7:31 pm ET

It would be much more reasonable if companies ask from their employees to work for free in bad times, but pay them the moment times are better again.
In fact employees give the company a loan; Their work for free during bad time. Companies could even have the decency later to pay interest on top of the lost salary. They do the same for bond holders.

Greg Durbauree   June 17th, 2009 7:42 pm ET

I don't mind work for free a poor company , But for British Airways no way at all ,You must be an idiot if you do work for free to save British Airways.
Why don't all the directors and the chairmans sell their mansions and castle what they been hiding away .
Greg from Heathrow .

John   June 17th, 2009 7:48 pm ET

Being an Ex-British Airways employee's I was asked if I would take a voluntary pay cut of 10% for 6 months in 2001 during the last recession. It was intimated to me that although voluntary, it would be "Good for my career" if I took it.

I refused for financial reasons. the example I gave was if I was in financial difficulty would the company give me a 10% increase to tide me over. I was told that would not happen.

While I cant prove anything I believe it was held against me.

John EX-BA

Vic Benedicto   June 17th, 2009 8:25 pm ET

yes. as long as it will guarantee my job.

Thot   June 17th, 2009 10:37 pm ET

Probably yes, but I'm scared if companies would take this opportunity to pretend there are in financial problems so they just could save some money into their pockets. It happened here in Portugal. With the world economical crises excuse, some companies, with profits, fired people anyway. Governments should have serious ways to control the bankruptcy process. Their are successful companies that are filling bankruptcy just to get some Government help.
Companies that have been paying minimum wages to qualified people, long before these crisis, and on the excuse of the in existence of qualified jobs. But it seems the "big bosses" always have qualified jobs for friends and family members and money to buy new cars, houses, etc, for themselves.

Parsa   June 24th, 2009 6:35 am ET

Dear Hala,
There ar rumors around in Iran that the regim is preparing for a "coup d'etat" with "Revolutionary gard" & "Bassijes".
Rumors that they plan to kill Mussavi and execute immediately the killer!
It seems a real plan, look at their hard attitude with foreign embassies and meda !
We need you, the free world more than ever in Iran now.
We started, lost lives and can't go on on our own if you don't help us.
Hugs.
Parsa

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