Britain's biggest companies are slashing tens of thousands of jobs in a desperate effort to reduce costs as the coronavirus pandemic shocks the economy and forces businesses into survival mode.
The latest moves came Monday from oil major BP (BP) and luxury goods maker Mulberry, which said would cut 15% and 25% of their global workforces, respectively. That translates to 10,000 jobs at BP and 350 at Mulberry.
Major UK companies now have more than 75,000 job cuts in the pipeline, with more expected as partial lockdowns and social distancing continue into the summer months. Smaller companies are also being slammed, adding hundreds of thousands of job losses to the total.
British Airways (ICAGY) is slashing 12,000 jobs, or more than a quarter of its workforce, in response to the severe drop in travel demand during the pandemic. Rival carriers EasyJet (ESYJY) and Virgin Atlantic will jettison 4,500 and 3,000 positions, respectively, while engineering and aerospace company Rolls-Royce (RYCEF) is cutting 9,000 jobs. Parts supplier Meggitt (MEGGF) is reducing its workforce by roughly 1,800.
Niche carmakers are also being hit hard, with jobs going at Bentley (1,000), McLaren (1,200) and Aston Martin (500). HSBC (HBCYF) announced in February that it would slash 35,000 positions, but has since put most of those redundancies on hold to avoid forcing workers to search for a new job during the pandemic.