Nationalise BA to defend wages, jobs and pensions

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BA managers were yesterday pledging a ‘fight to the death’ with the Unite trade union and its members to force through cuts in wages, pensions and jobs.

They want less cabin crew looking after passengers; they want an inferior pension scheme; they want thousands of redundancies; they want a two-year wage freeze and they want all new starters to be on virtually half wages, and on a very inferior pension scheme.

They are taking legal action to try to get the strike action declared illegal, and they are said to be organising strikebreakers.

They are, in their own words, considering ‘all strike options’ with the 12-day action due to begin on December 22.

BA has been hit hard by the world capitalist crisis, including the fall in demand and soaring oil prices, and wants to run a prestigious airline but on Ryanair wages, pensions, manning and conditions of service.

Since taking strike action was agreed by 92.5 per cent of the 80 per cent of Unite members who voted, any attempt by the Law Courts to declare it illegal will only add fuel to the fire, and be seen as a vindictive, anti-working class action.

Such a judgement would inevitably lead to BA cabin crew workers demanding that the action go ahead, with the whole of Unite taking part plus with all of the TUC trade unions showing their support by joining the action.

News Line gives its 100 per cent support to BA cabin crew.

The idea that following the decision of the government to provide the bankrupt bankers with guarantees, loans, and gifts of over £1.2 trillion to save them workers should do the same for their own bosses, agreeing to wage cuts, jobs cuts, pension cuts and new terms and conditions of service, is obscene.

Capitalism has shown that it does not work. It must be put out of business. BA and other companies like it should be nationalised and put under workers control.

The idea that the crew must go down with the Titanic is laughable.

Capitalism prided itself that it constituted the survival of the fittest. This was said to be the main law of nature.

The banks have collapsed and have been put on permanent life support at the expense of the working class and the middle class.

Now whole industries are collapsing and we are told that workers have no alternative but to give up all their gains to keep the bankrupt bosses afloat.

The only solution to this crisis is for the working class to put an end to capitalism.

BA must be nationalised as must be Corus and the ailing motor car industry.

An economic plan must be drawn up to establish an integrated transport and industrial system, planned to satisfy people’s needs so that the whole of the British capitalist economy can be reorganised along socialist lines, to provide jobs and homes for the millions that require them.

We urge BA workers to take strike action on December 22 whether it is judged to be ‘legal’ or ‘illegal’ and for other workers to support them.

Otherwise the bosses will do as they have always done. Pocket the massive concessions, and then demand bigger concessions before sacking thousands more and turning the industry into a slave labour operation.

We urge the entire working class to support the BA workers.

If Walsh, and behind him the Labour government, succeeds in this struggle then, as surely as night follows day, you will be next for the same treatment.

The way forward is for workers to bury the bankrupt and broken capitalist system before it buries them, in order to go forward to a socialist planned economy and socialism.