Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/904/22948
From The Socialist newspaper, 1 June 2016
Thomas Cook cabin crew to strike over breaks
A Thomas Cook passenger plane - cabin crew are to strike against cuts to break times, photo by Arpingstone (Creative Commons) (Click to enlarge)
William Jarrett, Unite member
In a fortnight of headlines littered with outbreaks of industrial disputes, 25 May didn't disappoint. Thomas Cook cabin crew in Unite the Union voted by 74% to enter in to dispute with their employer.
Operating in ten UK aviation hubs by providing package holiday deals, the company's revenues for six months up to March were a staggering £2.7 billion.
These eye-watering margins haven't translated into gains for workers though, whose terms and conditions are under attack. The basis for the dispute is health and safety, as breaks have been reduced from two to one for every 12-hour shift worked.
All cargo is precious, not least the human cargo aboard these flights. A cursory examination of Aeroinside, an industry publication documenting safety incidents, reveals that, not unlike other operators, Thomas Cook relies heavily on its flight crew to ensure the safety of passengers. Flight crew deliver vital safety guidance and provision of specialist emergency management during incidents. In the same six month period to March, Thomas Cook returned to profit for the first time in five years, generating a pre-tax profit of £50 million. So, why is a company that is returning to financial health attacking its frontline staff?
To answer this question, the Socialist urges Unite to table a request at Acas for the management to open its books to the democratic scrutiny of Unite convenors and stewards at the company, to gain a clearer understanding of which salaries may require review.
With airline flight staff salaries averaging only £14,824 a year, we doubt strongly that these expenditures, or the two breaks for every 12 hours worked suggested by the government's regulator the Civil Aviation Authority, are the source of the underlying financial problems at Thomas Cook.
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In The Socialist 1 June 2016:
Socialist Party news and analysis
Shatter the Tories: vote out
Motion passed for no-cuts council budgets
Jobseekers told: take three-hour commute
Public asset sales will lose us money
Stop Ryedale fracking
Them & Us
Tories out to knife the BBC
France: struggle against government intensifies
France 1936: sit-in strikes
Fighting austerity: French strikes show the way
What we think
Tories tearing themselves apart over EU referendum: vote leave to get Cameron out
Socialist Party workplace news
PCS conference takes serious approach to key political and industrial questions
Could it be 3 strikes and you're out at 2 Sisters?
Welsh Government under attack at Wales TUC conference...and museum strikers close to victory
University lecturers strike for fair pay
Thomas Cook cabin crew to strike over breaks
BIS office closure: Anger and determination to fight on
Workplace news in brief
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Property speculators target Butterfields tenants
Pent Valley campaigners take council to judicial review
George Tomlinson school: Academy fears
Birmingham Labour council takes credit for Tory privatisation
Peterborough PFI palaver
Get a copy of the Socialist from a workplace near you!
International socialist news and analysis
Solidarity with protesters in Kazakhstan
Portugal: Lisbon dockers' victory
Socialist Party comments and reviews
Film: Money Monster
Obituary: Simon Gomery 1968-2016
Letter: Parcel farce
The Socialist 1 June 2016 |
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