Stop BA Jobs Massacre

At last Wednesday's demonstration near Heathrow, the Unite leadership produced this banner appealing to the local Tory MP to save cabin crew jobs

HILLINGDON TUC is holding a ‘Stop the BA Jobs Massacre’ Rally in Defence of Jobs at 12 noon in Cranford Park, near Heathrow Airport today.

The rally is taking place immediately following an 11am Unite meeting of aviation catering supplier workers in the same location, where 3,000 workers are facing the sack.
This follows 42,000 British Airways workers being sacked last Wednesday, with the company now selecting which of them are being offered new 20-50% pay cutting contracts, to be signed by 31st August, and which of them are ‘compulsorily redundant’.
The 3,000 catering workers facing the sack at Heathrow are employed by:

  • Austrian-owned DO & CO, where 2,134 employees are under threat, leaving just 300 workers. Its biggest customer is British Airways.
  • Alpha LSG, where 697 staff are facing redundancy, with bosses proposing a 16-hour working week with only statutory terms and conditions for those that remain. Its customers include American Airlines and Emirates.
  • Gate Gourmet, which is planning 151 sackings and attempting to slash employment terms on the current contracts. Clients include Delta, Korean Air and Virgin Atlantic.
  • Newrest, which has already dismissed half their staff and failed to engage with the unions.

Unite regional officer Shereen Higginson said: ‘About 3,000 out of a total Heathrow catering workforce of 4,500 are facing the axe.’
She went on: ‘These catering firms already pay our members desperately low wages and refuse to pay the London living wage, currently £10.75 an hour.
‘There is now the suggestion that some workers do part-time work for just 16 hours per week – which is not financially feasible for our members as west London has a high cost of living.
Instead of mobilising the massive strength of the biggest union in the land to defend all jobs and conditions, the Unite leadership is appealing to Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak to come to its aid.
On its knees to the Tories, the Unite leadership said last Friday: ‘Unite is urging members of the public to send Rishi Sunak a digital “wish you were here … to save UK aviation jobs” postcard.’
Unite regional officer Peter Coulson said: ‘Aviation workers in the West Midlands are pleading with the chancellor to keep the promise he made in March and provide support for the sector.’
Two weeks ago, Unite General Secretary Len McCluskey warned BA: ‘We are now moving directly towards industrial action’ to defend BA jobs.
Since then the union under McCluskey’s leadership has moved to appeals to Tory Chancellor Sunak for him to take action to save the jobs.
McCluskey must be sacked and a new leadership brought forward immediately willing to defend all jobs.
British Airways must be renationalised and all aviation jobs saved.
The jobs, pay and conditions of BA and all aviation workers at Heathrow and around the country must be defended through Unite and the other aviation unions occupying Heathrow and all workplaces threatening workers with the sack.
Unite must call national strike action of the entire union and demand that the TUC backs it by calling a general strike to bring down the Tory government now.