Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/602/8376

From The Socialist newspaper, 18 November 2009

British Airways merger plan poses new threat to workers

FRIDAY 13TH was the date BA and Iberia announced the details of their proposed merger. While the potential pay-off of a successful merger will prove very lucky for the bank balances of bosses at BA and Iberia it could well prove to be very unlucky for the workers at both companies.

Neil Cafferky

Under the proposed deal the merged company would be 55% owned by BA shareholders. The lash up between the two companies probably "signals a higher degree of confidence on the part of both carriers about underlying prospects," said Nick Cunningham, at Evolution Securities.

The deal is due to be finalised by February, however there is one potential stumbling block that could scupper BA's plans. Iberia could walk away from the deal if it reaches the "reasonable opinion" that the pension fund could be "materially detrimental to the economic premises of the proposed merger".

In plain English this means the company must reduce the amount of money it pays into the pension fund.

This fact must be borne in mind when considering the current offensive by BA management against the wages and conditions of staff .

Agreement threat

As The Socialist has previously explained, the centrepiece of BA's plan to reduce costs is to destroy the 1948 Redeployment Agreement.

In short this agreement ensures that wages and therefore pensions can never be reduced. Rather than scrap this agreement in one go, which would probably trigger company-wide strike action, BA intends to nibble round the edges and gradually do away with the agreement section by section.

The current plan to create a two-tier workforce among cabin crew is a case in point. BA intends to make 3,000 redundancies and set up a new fleet of cabin crew.

This new fleet will be on reduced wages and therefore pensions. Any promotion or redeployment from the old, better paid fleet will be into the new fleet on worse pay etc. This process will then allow BA to reduce the pay to cabin crew over a number of years.

Since cabin crew make up one-third of staff this will make a significant dent in BA's pension contributions and would put the company in a powerful position to use similar tactics against the rest of the workforce.

This plan of course is dependent on defeating cabin crew who are currently balloting for strike action, possibly in the run-up to Christmas.

There is a possibility that the threat of strike action will force BA to withdraw their impositions. However the pension issue will act to harden BA's stance towards cabin crew. For cabin crew there is also a hardening of the mood of defiance.

At the Unite union branch meeting of cabin crew there was much criticism of the decision by the national Unite leadership to abandon strike action over similar issues two years ago.

Although a deal averting strike action cannot be ruled out, the ground for compromise appears to be narrowing by the day.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 18 November 2009:

Fighting for a future

Youth march for jobs


Global Warming

More evidence of climate change: Socialist planning needed


Socialist Party news and analysis

British Airways merger plan poses new threat to workers

Tamil refugees in desperate situation

Labour pushes nuclear plants

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Third week of Superdrug strike

Brighton bin workers score quick victory

Leeds council delays talks to end bin dispute

Sheffield First bus drivers beat back bullying management


Socialist Party feature

Interview with Mark Serwotka, PCS general secretary


Marxist analysis: history

USSR 1989 - the collapse of Stalinism


Socialist Party election analysis

Glasgow North East by-election: Mass abstentions in Labour's 'surprise win'

Far right SDL driven out of Glasgow city centre


Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Service with a snarl: Robert Service refuses to answer questions


Workplace news and analysis

Working life in a car factory

Ericsson closure condemned by Coventry socialist councillor

Save Ashford further education

London trade unionists meet to build workers' solidarity


 

Home   |   The Socialist 18 November 2009   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

British Airways:

triangleTravel chaos for Ryanair customers as airline cancels thousands of flights

triangleBA poverty pay dispute enters new phase of action

triangleBarts strike: Keep up the pressure on Serco and the trust!

triangleThree London strikes coordinate demos

triangleBank of England fair pay strike

Strike:

triangleArriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangleRoyal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleStriking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

Pension:

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleSet for national strike action

triangleThyssenKrupp - Tata steel merger

Pay:

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleWhat we saw

Pensions:

triangleCWU strike ballot to win 'Four Pillars'

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2