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From The Socialist newspaper, 14 August 2019

Summer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

photo Marvin Mutz/CC

photo Marvin Mutz/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Heathrow Airport shop steward

August has seen a number of strikes threatened in the airline industry, in particular at Heathrow Airport but also at Gatwick Airport and potential industrial action by British Airways and Ryanair pilots. Strikes at Gatwick and Heathrow have been suspended because of improved offers.

In the past, workers in the airline industry have had a high level of organisation and militancy which has resulted in the trade unions being able to protect members' wages and conditions.

Since the financial crisis, the airline industry has experienced long, drawn-out attritional battles. These have seen a combination of outsourcing and new contracts, often resulting in severe reduction in terms and conditions and wages.

The consequence is that new employees have borne the brunt of this attack because in reality they have had to sign up to inferior contracts. Where these contracts have been the poorest, there is rapid turnover of new joiners.

Before the financial crisis in 2008, airlines struggled to make consistent profits. However, since the massive reduction in the working conditions of the new generation of airline employees we have seen an explosive growth in profits of both the budget airlines and the full service carriers.

Billions of pounds are being returned to shareholders which have directly come from the pockets of the workers.

The recent return to industrial action ballots reflects an understanding from the new generation of workers that they need to repeat the battles of the past in order to return to a level of pay they can live on.

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In The Socialist 14 August 2019:


What we think

General election looms... Capitalists in chaos: fight for socialism


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Far right seen off at Oxford Circus

After the fire: fight for facilities for all

Hereford and Worcester: stop the fire cuts!

Dundee: young workers meet

Leeds estate residents push back private development


News

Boot out Boris and all the Tory toffs - fight for socialist policies for the 99% not the 0.1%

Tory bribes don't hide destruction of NHS


Opinion

TV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"


Historic events

Northern Ireland, August '69: 'Battle of the Bogside' and British troops on the streets

The Peterloo Massacre 1819: When a fearful ruling class tried to crush working-class political aspirations


Workplace news

Fight back against the retail bosses!

Lincolnshire health workers strike against £2,000 loss of pay

Bradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation

Hull: Karro Food meat processors strike against poverty pay

Equity: reject UK Theatre's pay cut deal

Summer of airline industry strikes against low pay and worsening conditions

Harland and Wolff occupation continues - renationalise to save the shipyard


International socialist news and analysis

Kashmir crisis: Stop the attack on democratic rights

Pro-democracy protests continue to rage in Hong Kong


 

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