Inflation is roaring back. Employment is soaring. Businesses are expanding, wage pressures are mounting, and pricing power is so great that British Airways asks staff to work for free.

British Airways is asking thousands of its staff to work for free for up to four weeks, spokeswoman Kirsten Millard said Tuesday.

In an e-mail to all its staff, the airline offered workers between one and four weeks of unpaid leave — but with the option to work during this period. British Airways employs just more than 40,000 people in the United Kingdom.

Last month, the company posted a record annual loss of £400 million ($656 million).

Its chief executive declared at the time there were “absolutely no signs of recovery” in the industry.

“I’m 30 years in this business and I’ve never seen anything like this. This is by far the biggest crisis the industry has ever faced,” said Willie Walsh, British Airways’ chief executive.

A spokesman for one of Britain’s biggest unions said its workers could not afford to work for free for a month.

In these trying times it’s best to be appreciative you have a job, even if you’re not paid for it 4 weeks out of the year.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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