October 2011 (early)

Qantas Says Union Rejects Wage Offer

Coalition's plans to keep torture evidence hidden

Ken Clark wants to introduce more secret trials and hearings, despite a court ruling that these deny people the right to a fair trial. Torture is illegal. If Britain's security services have taken part in illegal activities, those who have been victims must not be denied justice because it might be embarassing to the nation.

The only way that we can ensure that illegal torture, extraordinary rendition, war crimes and other illegal activities are stamped out is if the perpetrators are brought to justice. It is not acceptable that "national security" is used as an excuse time and time again for this country avoiding its obligations under its own and international laws.

The sooner that our government recognises that our national reputation will be more badly damaged by a pointless cover up than through open and fair trials, the better.

20th October 2011

Sao Paulo and Brasilia airports face 48 hr strike Thursday & Friday over privatisation plans

Government's promise to be "greenest ever" exposed as carbon capture scheme scrapped

Any lingering hope that the coalition actually has any committment to green policies was shattered today when it announced that it was going to scrap plans for the first UK carbon capture scheme.

This system would have collected carbon emissions from one of the most polluting power stations in Britain, then fed them back to the North Sea, where they would be stored underground in the locations from which natural gas had been extracted.

Despite the recession, the UK remains one of the richer countries. However, if the wealthier countries like the UK and USA continually refuse to tackle global warming, what example does that set for the developing nations?

TUC disappointment at carbon capture blow

20th October 2011

Links between Ku Klux Klan and BNP revealed

BAA to sell Edinburgh Airport

30,000 poor could die this winter as they are forced to choose between food and heating

Fuel poverty kills more people than road accidents

bmi Facing Break-Up In Battle For Heathrow

This is a disturbing report for bmi's employees. As has already been speculated, it appears that potential buyers of bmi are less committed to fully continuing to run the airline, but far more interested in acquiring its take off slots at Heathrow. Any break up of the airline will almost certainly lead to the loss of a number of jobs.

The viability of bmi as a major international airline has already been risked by the sale of a number of its slots to BA, who used these to increase the number of flights between Heathrow and New York.

The HLC considers that the government should intervene to ensure that no more slots are sold and that any sale of bmi protects jobs and keeps the airline in a position to be a genuine competitor to giants like IAG, Air France-KLM and Lufthansa.

18th October 2011 

48 Hour Strike Will Close Airports and Bring Greece To Standstill

No pause for Greek workers in cuts fight

MPs to debate whether to hold referendum on pulling out of the EU

The Tories are well known Eurosceptics and it seems likely that they will use this opportunity to attempt to weaken laws on health and safety, employment rights, equality rights and human rights. The EU has long been a thorn in the Tories' side because it has prevented them pressing the worst excesses of their right wing agenda. This is an issue that the LibDems must stand firm on.

If you're reading this Mr. Clegg, this is not a time for another one of your u-turns on the LibDems' central policies.

Tory rebels set to quit government in row over Europe referendum

18th October 2011

London Assembly to discuss Heathrow environmental impact

The GLA's Environment Committee will be meeting on Thursday the 20th of October to discuss air and noise pollution that may be directly or indirectly related to Heathrow. The committee is being chaired by Labour assembly member Murad Qureshi and ask whether enough is being done to improve air quality and reduce noise in the West London area.

18th October 2011

Qantas Grounds More Planes As Dispute Deepens

Southampton council workers consider pay offer

Iberia Airlines does not expect to be back in profit before 2013

Strike ballot as Unite accuses Balfour Beatty of bringing mayhem to building sites

This is the same dispute over an attempt to force through changes to a national pay agreement that was reported in Skyport as affecting workers on the Heathrow East (the new Terminal 2) construction project. At this time we do not have information on whether strike action could potentially disrupt building work at Heathrow, though if the dispute escalates, this would certainly seem possible.

Construction electricians march on Blackfriars

Sparks' revolt

Skyport - Terminal 2 workers told "Sign here and get a pay cut"

18th October 2011

Nearly 4 out of 5 GPs oppose Tories' NHS reform bill

Has Lansley misled the House over links to private health?

An excellent article that questions why Andrew Lansley continues to deny links with the private healthcare industry, when both he and the Tory Party have clearly received very large sums of money from these companies, which stand to make hundreds of millions from the NHS reform bill.

Dare we hope that Mr. Lansley might soon go the same way as Mr. Fox? Please check out the video link "The Health Industry Lobbying Tour".

18th October 2011

American Airlines Pilots Union Continue Talks

High inflation and low wage growth are squeezing living standards even tighter

RPI hit 5.6% and CPI reached 5.2% in September

bmi sale could threaten the health of staff pension scheme

Etihad Airways joins IAG and Virgin in bidding for bmi

Etihad Eyes bmi, Virgin Atlantic, Aer Lingus Stakes

It's rare to find an advert that is as misleading as the Tory and LibDem manifestos...

Occupy London Day 3: Your views (BBC)

Union Warns Air France-KLM Over Shake-Up

Air France-KLM Share Price Rises On Reshuffle Reports

Willie Walsh says new Transport Secretary may have "conflict of interest" over Heathrow

The outspoken Mr. Walsh has made the relatively incisive (for him) comment that as Justine Greening has a constituency on the Heathrow flightpath, she may have a conflict of interest between national aviation requirements and the wishes of her constituents. Presumably he feels that the position of Secretary of State for Transport should go to someone with as unbiased opinion on such matters as he himself holds.

The government and BAA have dismissed Mr. Walsh's concerns and endorsed the appointment of Ms. Greening.

Government says new transport minister ‘will be fair on Heathrow'

18th October 2011

TUC puts poverty myths in spotlight

Scottish Businessmen Considering Bid For Edinburgh or Glasgow Airport

90% of pilots surveyed question UK government aviation policy

Airlines and Airport Operators slam plans for £5 billion Heathrow to Gatwick rail link

Protestors to the politicians - "Listen to the people, not the bankers"

Day 2 of the "Occupy London" protests.

Sky reports that IAG and Virgin have made bids for bmi

Heathrow to open ‘terminal 6’ for Olympics

"What is the difference between a patriot and a nationalist? A patriot loves his country, but a nationalist hates everyone else's country." (Georges Clemenceau, French Politician)

Protest News - London Stock Exchange is the target of protestors

Around the globe, protests are expected in the financial centres of 82 countries. Ordinary people are asking why the needs of the poorest 99% are being ignored by politicians to promote growth that will benefit just the richest 1%.

Occupy London: Hundreds protest into night at St Paul's

15th October 2011

IAG in talks to buy bmi from Lufthansa

Lufthansa says air cargo market is becoming more difficult

Cathay Sept Cargo Traffic Down 10 Percent

The aviation industry had hoped that growth in the cargo sector would be driven by higher trade in Asia and South America, but it seems that this was over-optimistic. The Asian recovery, which seemed to be happening more quickly that Europe and the USA appears to have stalled.

Cargo was the first sector to show a decline, but it seems likely that passenger traffic may also be disappointing. Austerity measures in the West are reducing spending power, resulting in fewer goods being purchased from the East. This is likely to impact on spending power in the East for air tourism to the West.  

15th October 2011

Gatwick and Heathrow to improve security queue monitoring after £500,000 fine

£500k penalty for poor reporting of queue times

Bahrain government persecutes trade unionists at Gulf Air

Australia becomes latest government to consider intervening in aviation dispute

The Australian government looks to be joining Canada in opting to force trade unionists and airlines to meet in legally binding arbitration to prevent the economic consequences of a strike. This is a disturbing development, as a number of national airlines are partly or completely owned by their governments.

If this trend for governments to block strike action in the aviation industry continues, we may well see the dual role of governments as employer and lawmaker being seriously abused to deny the basic right of workers to withdraw their labour.

The recent global recession must not be allowed to excuse governments around the world to use a priviledged position to deny workers their essential human and employment rights.

13th October 2011

Gatwick develops long term strategy as rate of traffic growth slows down

European Health & Safety Week 2011 - Campaign on Safe Maintenance

October 24th to 28th is European Week for Health and Safety. Unions are encouraging H&S reps to carry out inspections of workplaces and equipment to ensure that maintenance is adequate. This is especially important as workplace deaths rose by 20% last year as employers cut corners on safety budgets.

13th October 2011

A deeply depressing day for the NHS, says TUC

A spineless performance in the House of Lords today by LibDem peers has brought Andrew Lansley's NHS Bill within a whisker of becoming reality. There are now only the slimmest of chances to stop the sell off of the jewel in the crown in our public services.

Yes, the Lords could propose other amendments. Yes, in theory, the Queen could withold royal assent - but this would be without precedent. Yes, the coalition could collapse - but probably not quickly enough. And yes, the public might suddenly wake up enough to realise that the medical treatments they need may very well not be there as a result of this bill unless they are prepared to protest in a way that is impossible to ignore.

Realistically, it seems likely that a legal challenge to this bill is the only hope to prevent it becoming law. Various groups have been scutinising the bill to see if it can be shown to breach existing laws, including articles in the Human Rights Act - such as the right to life.

Some of us are prepared to battle on to defeat a bill that we consider to have been passed only through an act of fraud by David Cameron. We will not sit still and wait until our health services are sold off so that they become a priviledge of the rich.

Lords refuse to rescue the NHS

Patient care is below legal minimum

12th October 2011

Heathrow passenger numbers hit sixth record month

Candian government tries to deprive Air Canada workers of right to strike tomorrow

Legal victory for asbestos disease sufferers in Scotland

German air traffic control strike is called off at last minute as deal is reached

Proposed Lords amendment to delay NHS Bill for scrutiny could cause it to be scrapped

Please get involved in this campaign. This government must be told that our right to a comprehensive health serice is not up for sale to line the pockets of the corporate vultures. Keep our NHS public!

Lobby a Lord to Save the NHS

11th October 2011

Virgin states it is still interested in buying bmi, despite slowdown in aviation recovery

Study predicts government cuts will breach Child Poverty Act

The internationally respected body, the Institute of Fiscal Studies has predicted that government cuts will result in 600,000 more children falling below the poverty line, with 1 in 4 children having an unacceptable standard of living. 

11th October 2011

Night flights banned at Frankfurt airport after court action by local residents

Virgin to trial aviation fuel made from waste products of steel industry

Willie Walsh faces strike action over low-cost carrier plan

Air Canada unions and Canadian government on collision course over strike on Thursday

The Canadian government has tried to deny Air Canada's employees in CUPE (Canadian Union of Public Employees) the basic human right to withdraw their labour. 

The flight attendants who are in dispute with Air Canada believe they are being unfairly denied payment for hours that they are forced to spend between flights at airports other than the one at which they are based. A provisional agreement between the parties was strongly rejected in a ballot of the workforce.

CUPE is the trade union that was instrumental in gaining recognition of April 28th as Workers Memorial Day, which asks people to remember work colleagues who have died or been seriously injured in the course of their work.

Time Running Out To Halt Air Canada Strike

11th October 2011

Ferrovial reduces ownership of BAA to less than 50%

A million public sector workers start to ballot for industrial action to save their pensions

This ballot is for the public sector workers. But private sector workers should fully back those taking part, as this government's plans to line the pockets of a few rich people at the expense of the 95% of us who are not so fortunate will mean that we are next in line.

Don't believe a word David Cameron say's about us all being in this together. The gap between rich and poor is still growing. The wealthy caused this recession by reckless financial speculation, so now is the time for them to dig into their pockets and pay for the damage they caused.

Tax the rich. Protect the poor. Reduce wealth inequality.

10th October 2011

Air Canada flight crew likely to strike on Thursday despite government threats

This is possibly your last chance to change, delay or stop this corrupt piece of legislation, which will see our public National Health Service sold off to private companies that have donated hundreds of thousands of pounds to the political parties that are making the change. Don't wait until you or your family need medical treatment before you act - it will be way too late by then.

German ground handlers and air traffic controllers likely to strike this week

Scale of public sector job cuts is far higher than predicted

Walsh says plans to run Heathrow and Gatwick as single airport via rail link ‘lack credibility’

Protest news - Westminster Bridge blocked by opponents of NHS sell off

Central London bridge blocked to save the NHS

Heathrow and Gatwick airports: Ministers mull rail link

European Commission plans to force more competition in ground handling services

This is a disturbing development. Many ground handling in Europe are already struggling to survive, but more competitors in the arena could force profits down even further, with the consequence that the wages of workers come under even greater threat at a time when cost of living is increasing dramatically.

9th October 2011 

Miami Five man freed after 13 years

Civil rights groups and trade unions have been lobbying for the release of the Miami 5 since they were imprisoned by the US on charges of spying in 1998. This group has always maintained that it was not spying on the US, but trying to collect information on terrorist groups that have killed 3,500 Cubans. Many people feel that their convictions were entirely political and related to CIA involvement in groups that opposed the regime of Fidel Castro.

One of the Miami 5 has been released, but justice has not yet been served. 4 others remain in a federal prison and the single person who has been released has been told that he cannot return to Cuba under the terms of his probation, which runs for another 7 years.

Wikipedia on the Miami Five

9th October 2011  

Survey of 86 airlines shows widespread concerns over Heathrow capacity restraints

EU Nudges World Towards Carbon Tariffs

40 Qantas flights to be cancelled and more delayed on Monday due to strike

BAA Told To Sell Scottish Airport Before Stansted

Skyport - Terminal 2 workers told "Sign here and get a pay cut"

Sparks fly after latest construction protest

London construction workers protest in the heart of the capital's shopping centre

Electricians' protest: 'They have occupied Wall Street, we have occupied Oxford Street.'

American Airlines financial problems could lead to merger with US Airlines

IAG expects ‘significant’ full year profit growth

IAG To Set Up No-Frills Carrier Iberia Express

Unite - New round of strikes at Southampton underway

The HLC salutes the courage of the Southampton council workers who have refused to give in to the threats of their Tory bosses. Trade unionists across the country should be aware that if Southampton council succeeds in forcing its workers to accept inferior wages and conditions, other councils will certainly follow suit - and private sector workers will have similar battles over the coming months and years.

8th October 2011

The Guardian criticises Ryanair as "EasyJet without the frills"

Another extra charge from Ryanair comes under scrutiny

Thomas Cook cabin crew consider industrial action as nearly 500 jobs face the axe

Haven for tax dodgers is claimed to have been a major cause of global recession