April 2012 (late)

2,000 workers attend May Day march in London

May Day holiday calls grow

Workers of the world mark May Day 2012

Damian Green makes pledge over airport queue delays

Boris and Murdoch: The ten questions the Mayor still hasn’t answered

Labour asks Boris Johnson to reply to allations that he sought commercial sponsorship from News International after the metropolitan police (which he controls) began an investigation into hacking at the organisation.

30th April 2012

The Heathrow Learning Zone for Unite members is now open. Tomorrow (May 1st) will see a number of 30 minute "taster" courses run on a range of topics from learning guitar to protecting your computer.

Border Force tell Heathrow to stop apologising for queues

Home Office tries to hush up airport delays

Crew safety group claims air in civil jet planes can be toxic

A group which represents 150,000 flight crew around the world says that the industry practice of providing air to the cabin directly from the engines presents a serious risk for passengers and crew.

30th April 2012

IAG closing in on Japan Airlines stake

A list of May Day events to demand better rights for workers (Monday May 7th)

Coalition 'hell bent' on killing workers

Gay marriage row escalates

Heathrow queues: Border Force 'ready' for Olympics

UKBA chief Brian Moore claims that the immigration service is fully prepared for the Olympics. Assurances have already been made that ALL passport control desks will be staffed.

Critics will say that the issue of maintaining border security without extensive queues is not one purely for the Olympics. The national image of Britain is being damaged and frequent airport delays make the UK less attractive for international trade. The Home Office must provide a long term solution by employing adequate numbers of permanent staff, not a quick fix with temps that will rapidly deteriorate after the Olympics.

Border force Olympic queue busting plans revealed

Union blames staff cuts for airport delays

29th April 2012

Norweigan pilots demand permanent jobs, not a succession of agency placements

Sunday Times Rich List shows we are not "all in this together"

A look at the richest 1,000 people in Britain seems to suggest that the pay freezes and austerity measures that many of the rest of us are suffering do not seem to be hitting everyone. The lack of growth that put the UK back in recession has not prevented the millionaires and billionaires from increasing their wealth by more than the rate of inflation.

Which begs the question - "When are the people who caused the recession going to start paying their fair share of the costs of recovery?"

29th April 2012

Unite position statement on Workers Memorial Day

Unite lists the actions that it believes are necessary to prevent unnecessary work related deaths, including -

  • No reduction in legal health and safety rights
  • Accountability for employers who expose workers to risks
  • An increase in inspections with no exemptions
  • Improved legal rights for H&S representatives
  • Action to prevent occupational disease (e.g. asbestosis, farmers' lung etc.)

28th April 2012

Iberia Pilots Strike Off After Govt Forces Talks

Heathrow queues continue to anger

Willie Walsh calls for urgent action on passport queues

Ken Livingstone: Government 'in real trouble' if I win

BAA boss response to EasyJet - Network airlines not interested in Stansted and Gatwick

BAA's Chief Financial Officer has rejected EasyJet's suggestion that lack of capacity in the south-east could be eased by building a second runway at Gatwick or Stansted.

27th April 2012

Scottish-based consortium eyes bmi regional

Hopes were raised to protect some of the jobs of 400 employees at bmi regional after a Scottish based consortium expressed interest in buying the unit from IAG, which has said that it will close the airline if no buyer can be found.

27th April 2012

Ferrovial Profit Falls 97 Percent For First Quarter Of 2012

BAA's owner, Spanish company Ferrovial reports a substantial fall in profits for the first quarter of the year after selling off some of its assets. However, its earnings using the EBITDA calculation show an increase of 11.7% to 192 million euros for the same period.

27th April 2012 

EU To Discuss Sharing Of Airline Data To Fight Crime

‘Workplace deaths underestimated by 800 per cent’, says Unite

Just 24 hours before Workers Memorial Day (Saturday 28th April), Unite claims that the government has hugely underestimated the numbers of UK workers who die as a result of their jobs.

The union says that the real number of deaths from workplace accidents is probably closer to 1,400 every year, rather than the official figure of 171. Unite also claims that up to 50,000 are dying every year from workplace diseases (such as asbestosis) while the government recognises a much lower figure.

Unite calls for stronger workplace H&S laws and more frequent inspections from the Health and Safety Executive.

27th April 2012

IATA call for Heathrow third runway

The influencial International Air Transport Association has called on the UK government to put the economy and needs of the aviation industry ahead of its popularity and approve a third runway at Heathrow.

Meanwhile Dubai has followed Abu Dhabi by also announcing a double digit increase in passenger numbers as it seeks recognition as a major hub connecting Europe with Asia. The aviation industry will not stand idle while waiting for our government to make a decision.

Dubai records strong increase in passenger numbers

26th April 2012

IAG to ‘keep out’ of American Airlines takeover battle

Victory as better social protection for European aircrew is won

An important decision has been made by the European Parliament, that will see better protection for aircrew, who have found their legal protections change every time they get on an international flight. The EU has ruled that the social security protections (and employer contributions) should be based on the country in which they are normally based.

The next challenge will be to ensure that the definition of "normally based" is not artificially transferred to other EU states. Budget carriers (such as Ryanair) have been known to demand workers from one country be treated as if they are based in another and to receive wages in a foreign currency.

26th April 2012

Lufthansa Says No Decision On Job Cuts

However, a previous statement suggested that around 3,000 jobs are likely to go in administrative roles, with around 1,500 of those lost being at Frankfurt.

26th April 2012

EasyJet boss tells ministers 'Give us independent review of APD and we'll pipe down'

Iberia pilots to bear brunt of cost-cutting measures

Iberia Airlines announces that it intends to cut its wage bill for pilots by 20%.

Theresa May - "All Heathrow passport control desks to be manned for Olympics"

This promise might be easier to make than to keep. Former UK Border Agency staff who were forced to take redundancy might not sign up in their droves to help out, even if they need the money. And vetting, training and getting airport IDs for 300 new recruits may also be a struggle. Don't expect UKBA staff who have been given a pay freeze and had their pension deals ripped up to just accept whatever overtime is thrown at them.

25th April 2012

Morning Star - NHS staff vow to combat service sell-off

IAG To Close Loss-making bmi Units If No Buyer

TUC - 1,600 people in the South West died as a result of work last year

This Saturday (28th) is Workers Memorial Day. Unions and workers around the world will hold a minute's silence to think about the millions of people who have lost their lives in the course of their jobs.

25th April 2012

BAA earnings up 15% on Heathrow growth

Tied vote in Lords means Legal Aid bill passes. Lady Scotland says "Women will die"

A tied vote in the House of Lords means that the government's Legal Aid Bill moves forward to Royal Assent. The bill contains a contravesial clause that limits the rights of victims of domestic violence to legal aid, specifically that they must claim within twelve months of a violent act.

Lady Scotland says that many victims fear to speak up for many years and that this restriction will almost certainly deter some of those who need protection from taking violent partners to court. The result, says Lady Scotland will be further acts of domestic violence and most probably some deaths.

Critics of the ConDems claim that this government has taken women's rights back four decades and destroyed many hard won equalities and protections, at the same time as throwing a record number of women into unemployment.

25th April 2012

IAG Predicts More Airline Failures, Hails Gulf Rivals

Unite attacks Osborne over double dip recession and budget

EasyJet boss calls for airport expansion at Gatwick or Stansted

EasyJet CEO Carolyn McCall says that if the government will not permit a third runway at Heathrow, a second runway at either Stansted or Gatwick is the best short term option to deal with lack of capacity in the south-east. She also said that other options (presumably "Boris Island") are not real solutions and that other countries are far more supportive of their aviation industry in terms of allowing growth.

25th April 2012

Employers can force retirement in some circumstances, court ruling suggests

A recent case at the UK Supreme Court has ruled that an employer was able to force retirement on the basis of age in a specific set of circumstances. It is not yet clear if this ruling is likely to apply more generally or whether the UK is fully in line with European legislation on age discrimination.

The case in question involved a law firm. The firm in question argued that it was necessary to force partners to retire at 65 so that younger employees could be promoted. The opportunities for promotion were important to attract talented lawyers to the company. This argument might well not stand in other employment situations.

Other arguments included "preserving the dignity of the employee" and "planning" for the future of the business.

25th April 2012

Airport World interviews BAA CEO Colin Matthews on reinventing Heathrow

BAA boss plays down Heathrow capacity concerns

Walsh slams Government aviation policy and taxes