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Pilots following checkouts’ lead

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| Pilots | Pensions | Tenants | Hospital Closure |
Issue 1890

BRITISH AIRWAYS CitiExpress pilots, who staff its domestic operations, are in dispute over pay. Balpa, the pilots’ union, has been conducting a consultative ballot among its 600 CitiExpress members to establish whether they are prepared to strike over cost-cutting and pay.

CitiExpress is being ‘reorganised’, with routes closed and franchised out. A spokeswoman for Balpa said that the mood among pilots was ‘hostile’. One pilot told Socialist Worker, ‘If the checkout staff at Heathrow can win I really would have thought that we can do the same.’

Lobby planned on pensions robbery

UNION MEMBERS from the former ASW steel company in Cardiff and Sheerness are to lobby the Houses of Parliament next Tuesday on the day of the second reading of a new Pensions Bill.

They will be demanding that MPs support moves to compensate workers like those at ASW who have lost their expected pensions through no fault of their own. At the start of this week 240 MPs had signed an early day motion calling for the government to take action. The main unions taking up the workers’ case are Amicus and the ISTC.

Derek Simpson, Amicus general secretary, says, ‘Workers at ASW, and other companies affected such as United Engineering Forgings at Ayr and Chesterfield, were told that their final salary scheme was secure. But now they’ve lost almost everything.’ The government’s proposed new law will do nothing for people robbed of their pensions in the past.

Tenants are not battery chickens

OVER 90 residents, representing every ethnic group, shouted down Hackney councillors at a meeting on the De Beauvoir estate on Monday of last week. The east London council wants to sell off all the spare land on the estate and build more houses. There are already 800 homes on the estate. The new buildings will mean the end of the children’s playground.

Residents are pissed off at the council’s battery-chicken housing policy! At the meeting a motion was passed unanimously calling for protests against any new building work and a political campaign against any council election candidate who does not support the residents.

Anger against hospital closure

PROTESTERS STAGED an angry demonstration outside a board meeting of the Greater Glasgow NHS Trust last week as part of an ongoing campaign to save maternity services in Glasgow.

Over 135,000 people have signed the local newspaper’s petition against the proposal to shut the Queen Mother’s Maternity Hospital. Activists have vowed to keep up the pressure to save the hospital, and are planning a demonstration in Glasgow next month.

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