Socialist Worker

British Airways bosses fight dirty on pensions

Issue No. 2571


British Airways workers

British Airways workers (Pic: Guy Smallman)

British Airways (BA) has declared war on workers with an announcement that it would close its main defined benefit pension scheme.

The closure of the New Airways Pensions Scheme (NAPS) would affect 17,000 current and former workers.

Bosses hope to change the defined benefit scheme to a defined contribution scheme. The first guarantees their retirement income, the second makes it dependent on stock market fluctuations.

The money is there. BA is making record profits. Unions need to fight the closure.

One worker in Unite’s Bassa section told Socialist Worker, “There’s enough money in the bank to pay off the deficit in the scheme.”

Unite members in BA’s mixed fleet section have already been fighting over pay. MPs are supporting an early day motion condemning BA’s use of Qatar Airlines for scabbing. Talks were planned at conciliation service Acas this week.

While their sustained strike hit hard, they were fighting alone. The attack on pensions is a chance to bring the bigger battalions into the fight.

The worker said, “There should be a company-wide strike”.

Captains fight Cook

Pilots at airline Thomas Cook struck for 12 hours on Friday of last week for a better pay deal.

Their Balpa union said it was the first pilots’ strike in Britain since the 1970s.

Workers want a raise “substantially” above inflation. They can win.

Further strikes have been set for Saturday of next week and the two following Fridays.

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