Socialist Worker

British Airways

Issue No. 1689

British Airways

By a British Airways Worker

THERE WERE spontaneous parties in the air and on the ground on the day we heard that Bob Ayling was to "spend more time with his family". One of New Labour's most prominent business pals, Ayling was a prot�g� of Thatcher and masterminded the privatisation of British Airways. A fervent free-marketeer, he was the most vociferous supporter of the privatisation of Air Traffic Control.

His day job, however, was to get the workforce to accept �1 billion worth of cuts-money that was promptly transferred to the shareholders. However, he came unstuck in 1997 when he tried to instigate a reign of terror against the workforce during the catering and cabin crew disputes. He threatened to sack strikers and issued innumerable threats. But, amidst a wave of public sympathy, hundreds of cabin crew struck-and thousands took a new form of industrial action, "the mass sickie".

After that he was damaged goods. Towards the end of his reign he attempted to outsource some of BA's computer staff. They responded with mass meetings, marches and threats of industrial action. Class struggle lives on in "Middle England". Send on the next bastard.

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Sat 25 Mar 2000, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1689
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