Kick out trade union leaders collaborating to impose job and wage cuts

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THE ENGINEERING giant Rolls-Royce which manufactures jet engines this week confirmed that it will slash 3,000 jobs across the UK.

Already Rolls-Royce has begun the process, offering voluntary redundancy packages to all workers in its UK civil aerospace division.

Thousands of Rolls-Royce workers have been furloughed and with senior managers admitting that the company faces a ‘deep crisis’ and needs to save £1.3 billion to survive the immediate prospect is for entire factories to be closed down.

The Unite union rushed out a statement saying that: ‘Unite understands the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact on the aviation and aerospace industries,’ and that: ‘This is why Unite has negotiated with Rolls-Royce the opening of a voluntary severance scheme across the company to mitigate any future redundancies and buy some time so that Rolls-Royce can develop the Plan B that our members and other stakeholders so desperately need.’

This is the classic response of all those treacherous leaders of the trade union and Labour Party who have more faith in capitalism than the capitalists themselves.

They completely betray the very foundations of trade unionism – that a worker’s job does not belong to the individual worker but is the property of the entire working class and cannot be just ‘sold’ for any severance scheme.

Once a job has gone it has gone forever condemning future generations of workers to having no chance of employment. As for developing a Plan B this is the Alice-in-Wonderland fantasy world that only those leaders inhabit.

Capitalism has no ‘plan’ for reviving the economy except thorough dumping the crisis firmly on the backs of the working class and young people through mass unemployment and wage cutting.

This can clearly be seen throughout the manufacturing and aviation industries today.

British Airways, which has announced it is to slash 12,000 jobs this week sent letters to thousands of its workers stating that they must take pay cuts and accept new terms and conditions or face the sack.

Workers have been told to take a pay cut of up to 60% and sign a new contract which would allow BA to suspend them for up to six weeks a year without pay.

On ITV News BA issued the union leaders with a call to take the role of helping the bosses impose these savage attacks on jobs and conditions on their members saying: ‘We call on Unite and GMB to consult with us on our proposals as our pilot union, Balpa, is doing. Working together we can protect more jobs as we prepare for a new future.’

This call for unity between the unions and the bosses will be greeted rapturously by these leaders. It’s what they have been begging for all along, the chance to sit at the table and sell their members and the entire working class down the river to ‘save’ a bankrupt capitalist system and keep the shareholders of BA and Rolls-Royce in profit.

With the entire UK manufacturing and retail industries collapsed and even for those that have kept going through the state furlough subsidy scheme the fact remains that when that scheme is ended in August there will be precious few jobs to return to and those few that remain will be subject to the same wage cuts BA is attempting to impose.

Mass unemployment of over 10 million workers, exceeding that of the Great Depression in the 1930s, is the only plan capitalism has for the working class.

Those trade union leaders whose collaboration is seen as absolutely vital by the bosses in pushing this through must be thrown out and replaced by a new leadership that will defend every single job by taking strike action and preventing every factory closure through a campaign of occupation.

A leadership is needed that will mobilise the strength of the working class in a general strike to bring down the Tory government and advance to a workers’ government that will nationalise the major industries along with the banks and place them under the management of the working class and then advancing to a socialist society.

There is not a moment to lose in building the WRP to provide the leadership necessary today.

THE ENGINEERING giant Rolls-Royce which manufactures jet engines this week confirmed that it will slash 3,000 jobs across the UK.

Already Rolls-Royce has begun the process, offering voluntary redundancy packages to all workers in its UK civil aerospace division.

Thousands of Rolls-Royce workers have been furloughed and with senior managers admitting that the company faces a ‘deep crisis’ and needs to save £1.3 billion to survive the immediate prospect is for entire factories to be closed down.

The Unite union rushed out a statement saying that: ‘Unite understands the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact on the aviation and aerospace industries,’ and that: ‘This is why Unite has negotiated with Rolls-Royce the opening of a voluntary severance scheme across the company to mitigate any future redundancies and buy some time so that Rolls-Royce can develop the Plan B that our members and other stakeholders so desperately need.’

This is the classic response of all those treacherous leaders of the trade union and Labour Party who have more faith in capitalism than the capitalists themselves.

They completely betray the very foundations of trade unionism – that a worker’s job does not belong to the individual worker but is the property of the entire working class and cannot be just ‘sold’ for any severance scheme.

Once a job has gone it has gone forever condemning future generations of workers to having no chance of employment. As for developing a Plan B this is the Alice-in-Wonderland fantasy world that only those leaders inhabit.

Capitalism has no ‘plan’ for reviving the economy except thorough dumping the crisis firmly on the backs of the working class and young people through mass unemployment and wage cutting.

This can clearly be seen throughout the manufacturing and aviation industries today.

British Airways, which has announced it is to slash 12,000 jobs this week sent letters to thousands of its workers stating that they must take pay cuts and accept new terms and conditions or face the sack.

Workers have been told to take a pay cut of up to 60% and sign a new contract which would allow BA to suspend them for up to six weeks a year without pay.

On ITV News BA issued the union leaders with a call to take the role of helping the bosses impose these savage attacks on jobs and conditions on their members saying: ‘We call on Unite and GMB to consult with us on our proposals as our pilot union, Balpa, is doing. Working together we can protect more jobs as we prepare for a new future.’

This call for unity between the unions and the bosses will be greeted rapturously by these leaders. It’s what they have been begging for all along, the chance to sit at the table and sell their members and the entire working class down the river to ‘save’ a bankrupt capitalist system and keep the shareholders of BA and Rolls-Royce in profit.

With the entire UK manufacturing and retail industries collapsed and even for those that have kept going through the state furlough subsidy scheme the fact remains that when that scheme is ended in August there will be precious few jobs to return to and those few that remain will be subject to the same wage cuts BA is attempting to impose.

Mass unemployment of over 10 million workers, exceeding that of the Great Depression in the 1930s, is the only plan capitalism has for the working class.

Those trade union leaders whose collaboration is seen as absolutely vital by the bosses in pushing this through must be thrown out and replaced by a new leadership that will defend every single job by taking strike action and preventing every factory closure through a campaign of occupation.

A leadership is needed that will mobilise the strength of the working class in a general strike to bring down the Tory government and advance to a workers’ government that will nationalise the major industries along with the banks and place them under the management of the working class and then advancing to a socialist society.

There is not a moment to lose in building the WRP to provide the leadership necessary today.