Monday, 22 March 2010

British Airways Strike

British Airways are bullies. They always have been. They tried to bully Virgin in their dirty tricks campaign, they try to bully all of the other airlines with their virtual monopoly of useful landing slots at Heathrow, and they have bullied most of their staff into accepting a reduction in their terms and conditions.

The terms and conditions enjoyed by their cabin crew are a result of having a strong union in Unison, they are not a negative thing, they are to be aspired to by others who have weak unions.
British Airways under the 'leadership ?' of the arch-bully Slick Willie Walsh, who has lots of form in that department, are now trying to bully the cabin crew by threats and intimidation.

If they manage to break the union it will help them to sell off British Airways at a better price and maximise value for their shareholders at the expense of the workers. Under new foreign ownership every member of BA staff will suffer job cuts, a race to the bottom on wages, and new terms and conditions which are substantially lower than they currently enjoy.

The other sticking point in the foreign sale of BA is the pension fund deficit. This is money owed to workers past and present by the owners (shareholders) of BA, and if they can, they will try to walk away from that debt. They will sell off the profitable part of the company abroad and let the rump that remains go under to try to bully the government into taking on the massive pension debt.
This mustn't be allowed to happen. They can't be allowed to give away the silver and leave the debts to the taxpayer, but I suspect that is the plan.

This strike must be won, for all of our sakes, and the unions are trying to save their jobs, not close their company. They have offered concessions and cuts, but nothing less than a completely cowed workforce will suit Slick Willie's plans for a high income, lowest cost base company saleable to the highest bidder so the fat cats can walk away with their pockets stuffed.