Airline bosses are making mass job cuts and forcing through pay cuts.
It’s a major challenge to unions—and to fight it they must break from notions of social partnership and instead start fighting.
The stakes are very high.
British Airways last week announced that it wants 12,000 job cuts.
Unite union general secretary Len McCluskey said, “This devastating announcement comes on the day that BA staff joined together to lay to rest one of their own, a long-standing and much loved cabin crew member who tragically died from coronavirus.
“This was contracted while carrying out his duties bringing home loved ones from overseas to reunite concerned families.
“This announcement will be felt as a stab in the back. With the majority of BA’s workers on furlough, we would have expected BA’s boss Alex Cruz to work with both us and the government to honour the spirit of the government’s job retention scheme.
“Creating unemployment is a conscious choice by an employer.”
“Workers do not deserve to be treated as a commodity to be disposed of in this way.”
Meanwhile Ryanair is planning to make 3,000 of its workers in Europe redundant and is also planning pay cuts.
Unite national officer for aviation Oliver Richardson said, “This is another premature announcement.
“Ryanair has significant cash reserves and is in a better place than many airlines to cope.
“The union will argue that this announcement should be reversed.”
Suspend Dial-a-Ride service after death
The Unite union, which represents 330 members employed on Transport for London’s Dial-a-Ride service, is calling for the service to be temporarily suspended.
This follows the death of Dial-a-Ride driver and Unite member, Patrick David. He had worked for Dial-a-Ride for over 17 years.
The service is specifically for elderly and disabled residents in London who have mobility issues and who could not otherwise use public transport. Passengers are collected directly from their homes.
As drivers help passengers onto vehicles and then fasten them in, it is impossible for social distancing to be achieved at all times.
Unite wants the service paused until greater safety measures are fully implemented.