September 2012

Concerns raised over BAA's complaints log

Richmond residents speak about the mixed mode test that has been taking place as part of the "Operational Freedoms" trial to look at ways of maximising the use of Heathrow's two runways and reducing delays and emissions.

29th September 2012


The next most powerful man in the world? - Romney's profiteering from sweatshops

As the election to choose the world's most powerful leader moves closer, details are coming to light that show Mitt Romney as a greedy self-seeking egotist who appears to be devoid of the most basic of ethics.

By his own account, Romney invested in a company using Chinese sweatshops, yet did nothing to improve conditions for the workers earning just 24 cents (around 15p) an hour. He exemplifies the worst excesses of capitalism and should be judged as unfit to manage a company, let alone a nation.

However, big businesses have funded his campaign and the rich control most of the media in the US, as they do in the UK and elsewhere. So a victory for Mitt is a very real possibility. We should be afraid, very afraid.

Flight Attendants Union Coalition Endorses President Obama for Re-Election

29th September 2012


Global union federation backs criticism of Ryanair treatment of staff


Heathrow rail link vital for Thames Valley economy

Slough Councillor, Ruth Bagley says that the Western Rail Access To Heathrow project (WRAtH) could create 42,000 jobs, provide £1.5 billion to the Thames Valley economy and help the UK to hit its targets on reducing CO2 emissions.

28th September 2012


ETS cost 'minimal' says CAA as crunch nears on emissions scheme


Outsourcing slammed in “Global Day of Action”


Cuts Cafe announces 1st public meeting at Transport House, Holborn on 1st October

Anti-cuts campaigners will be holding a public meeting at Unite's head office in London at 19.00 on Monday, 1st October. Guest speakers from UK Uncut, Disabled People Against The Cuts, Greater London Pensioners Association and others.

Get involved in fighting this cynical government's plan of tax cuts and dodges for the rich and austerity for everyone else, especially the most vulnerable.

27th September 2012


Greece stages new general strike

Strikes hit flights to the Mediterranean


Potential trade war looms as EU emissions trading scheme Bill passes in US

The USA passes a bill that would make it illegal for US airlines to pay into the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme. It now remains to be seen if Europe can negotiate a solution, imposes sanctions or allows the USA to get away with not paying up.

26th September 2012


Dubai International passenger traffic surges 20 per cent

Dubai International, the world's 4th busiest hub shows how growth can be achieved even in a global recession where initiatives to expand trade are not constantly being frustrated by government indecisiveness and excessive taxation.

25th September 2012 


American Airlines Ready To Resume Talks With Pilots


Spain police fire rubber bullets at Madrid anti-austerity protest

Spain's deteriorating situation demonstrates the dangers of government policies that pursue austerity without delivering growth as massive unemployment reduces tax revenues and alienates a huge section of the public.

Spain GDP shrinks 'significantly'

25th September 2012


Lack of capacity and weather blamed as Heathrow named worst UK airport for punctuality


Ealing & Acton MP says third runway not the answer to economic recovery


Thomas Cook gets court injunction to find identity of employee who complained on Twitter

A disturbing development for those who want to complain anonymously about their bosses for fear of being victimised, as a court orders Twitter to reveal the identity of an employee who set up an account for those who wished to complain about Thomas Cook

24th September 2012


Ryanair threatens to sell stake in Aer Lingus if its bid for the airline is blocked again

We are not sure why this threat should particularly scare anyone.


Emissions Trading Scheme hit by US Senate block


Lawyers claim that Ryanair aircraft suffered cabin pressure problems 3 times in 2012



IER solicitor says government legislation blocking a general strike is illegal under EU law

A solicitor for the Institute of Employment Rights says that the right to hold a general strike is recognised in EU law and it should be possible to challenge UK legislation intended to  ban such actions.

24th September 2012


LFF - Boris needs to come clean over 25% cut to Fire Service

How many lives are being put at risk by the Mayor of London's cuts to the Fire Brigade?


Liberal Democrats reject South East airport expansion

No big surprises on aviation policy at the LibDem conference


BBC's Sunday Politics is told "Boris Island will mean complete Heathrow closure"

Tory MP Nick de Bois admits that a Thames Estuary airport would lead to the closure of Heathrow. London cannot support two hub airports and 220,000 jobs in West London would be put at risk if the project ever got approved.

Heathrow is the largest workplace in Europe and its contribution to the economy should not be underestimated. Closure would lead to rail and bus service cuts. Loss of revenue to councils would see local services slashed. Unemployment would rocket. We can only speculate on the impact on house values.

The Sunday Politics program can be watched on BBC's iPlayer by clicking here and the section on airport expansion is at 45 minutes.

23rd September 2012


Ryanair is ‘courting disaster’ by flying planes with near-empty fuel tanks to cut costs

Ryanair is to be investigated by Irish and Spanish authorities over allegations that its planes are ordered to keep their fuel tanks low, risking insufficient reserves to deal with diversions and being put in a holding pattern.

Ryanair hails safety report but told to review fuel policy

22nd September 2012


LFF Debate: The complexities of freedom of speech


Arik suspends domestic flights due to union protests over unpaid bills

Hundreds stranded as Nigerian airline stops services


Walsh rules out BA bid for State's 25% share of Aer Lingus


Willie Walsh wins RDS gold medal

We are not sure that all staff at the companies he has managed will feel that Willie Walsh deserves his award for "Extraordinary achievments in the aviation industry"

21st September 2012


Unite minimum-wage refuse staff strike for equal pay


Heathrow expansion referendum call by Richmond Council

Tory MP Zac Goldsmith calls for referendum over Heathrow expansion

Boris backs ballot on Heathrow row


China And EU Agree Deal Over Carbon Emissions


Lufthansa To Launch New Low Cost Carrier

Lufthansa announces that it is to merge its European and German domestic routes into a low cost brand from next year. How this will impact staff and to what extent the creation of a budget airline will help the airline achieve its target of making a $1.3 billion reduction in costs has not yet been made clear.

20th September 2012


So, Nick, when will you apologise for the double-dip, youth unemployment, NHS ‘reform’…

Left Foot Forward tells Nick Clegg that his apology for his broken promises on tuition fees doesn't go nearly far enough (includes the "Nick Clegg says sorry" music video, Autotune remix)


Virgin Asks EU Court to Overturn IAG-BMI Merger Approval


Ryanair in trouble again over misleading advert

The advertising Standards Authority bans a Ryanair advert for failing to alert customers to extra charges if they pay by credit or debit card


Wall Street Journal says "Don't fly American Airlines this autumn"


Hounslow & Feltham Council leader says ‘Boris island’ better than third runway

But has Nick Botterill considered the risk to the 200,000 jobs in West London that depend on Heathrow if a Thames Estuary airport becomes London's main hub?

Meanwhile Boris's team have been on the campaign trail for him plugging his £50 billion pet project, the cost of which would have to be paid by passengers, airlines and Londoners.

Deputy London mayor Victoria Borwick to visit Medway for estuary airport talks

Mayor’s aide criticises govt’s Heathrow plans

19th September 2012



American Airlines Issues Layoff Notices And Cuts Flights

AA issues 11,000 employees with warnings that their jobs are at risk as a result of restructuring


Government compensation cuts reconsidered

The government appears ready to back down on its plans to cut back on criminal injury compensation.

But what about others who deserve justice - such as those killed or seriously injured at work or those unfairly dismissed by their employers? Will the government reconsider its cuts to the HSE or its caps to tribunal payouts and fees to even make an unfair dismissal claim?

19th September 2012


UK border checks relaxed to speed up entry, MPs told

Another "new" idea from the Tories


Tories take axe to poorest's benefits

But there is still money in the budget to cut taxes for the rich


Air traffic control program to cut plane emissions


Boris Johnson orders consultants to study non-aviation options for Heathrow

Boris spends Londoners' money on a study of what could be done to develop Heathrow should it close if his £50 billion estuary airport scheme ever got off the ground.

17th September 2012


Thousands march against planned cuts to West London hospitals

Around 5,000 take part in a march against plans to cut 4 out of West London's 9 Accident and Emergency departments along with maternity and other specialist units. Ealing and West Middlesex hospitals are among those that are at risk of having vital services slashed.

16th September 2012


Boris Johnson links up with ‘Heathrow plot’ MPs

Is Boris simply attempting to get support for his Thames Estuary airport, or building a power base to challenge David Cameron for the leadership of the Tory Party?

15th September 2012


ITF's Turkish Airlines video gets recognition at London Labour Film Festival


Airlines Grapple With Food v. Biofuel Debate

In a world where millions still starve every year, should arable land be used to produce biofuels - so pushing up food prices even further beyond the reach of the poorest people?


India to allow foreign investment in its airlines

India's struggling aviation industry will be allowed to sell up to 49% of airlines to foreign investors. This will be good news for some, but will Kingfisher, with its truly massive debts be attractive to any corporations?

15th September 2012


Heathrow third runway: poll reveals public split

More airport capacity needed to maintain 'decent standard of living', says BA chief

MPs launch own airport capacity probe


Work stress 'raises heart risk' - but front line workers not managers are most at risk


Cable to cap unfair dismissal payouts

Vince Cable rejects Adrian Beecroft's suggestion that the government introduce "no fault dismissals" but is looking to reduce the maximum payout for unfair dismissal to 12 months wages from next summer.

This would appear to be a licence for unethical employers - especially when wanting to get rid of low paid and part time workers without having to "waste" managers' time by following the legal process of warnings, formal disciplinaries and fair dismissal.

Unions will see this change as not merely unfair, but pointless as unfair dismissal payouts only rarely reach a tiny fraction of the current cap of £72,000.

Vince Cable's labour reforms are 'slap in the face' for workers, says TUC

14th September 2012


An open letter to new transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin

The Airport Operators Association writes to the new Transport Secretary calling for urgent action on government aviation policy.

14th September 2012



Aer Lingus Union Announces Stoppages Over Pensions


New Thames Estuary airport proposal unveiled

Yet another proposal for a Thames Estuary airport is revealed in addition to "Boris Island" and Lord Foster's design. Willie Walsh has slammed the proposal, which could cost as much as £60 billion to build, as passengers and airlines would ultimately have to pick up the bill for construction, making travel via London less attractive.

13th September 2012


Turbulence for Theresa Villiers as BA boss dubs her the minister for anti-aviation


Pensions bill is being steamrollered through despite widespread opposition, says Unite

Morning Star - Pensions attack a calculated insult


Tories ‘could face a disaster if PM dithers on Heathrow’

Slough Councillors: 'Heathrow will be strong against competitors'

Slough Councillors have backed Heathrow against proposals for a new hub in the Thames Estuary or other posible locations such as Berkshire or Oxfordshire. They warn that the death of Heathrow would not only endanger over 200,000 jobs in West London, but see train and bus sevices cut. There is a risk that rising unemployment in the area could see house prices plummet, leaving locals in a negative equity trap.

The Councillors also warn that a new airport proposal will face stiff opposition, wherever it is planned. Locals will not want aircraft noise and new roads and rail services will be needed. This will lead to objections from those who face railway lines passing close to them and from environmentalists. Millions will need to be spent on providing noise insulation to residents in some other location.

Moving the debate away from Heathrow will not solve the government's problems. The coalition needs to deal with the problems that West Londoners are facing now, so that expansion at Heathrow does not get hte hostile reaction that it always has.

  • Give those impacted by expansion firm and fair offers for their properties now
  • Extend the noise insulation grants to those suffering, but not currently covered
  • Improve the public transport infrastructure and
  • Address the air quality issues

12th September 2012


Hillingdon Trades Councils calls out to local Branch Secretaries

Hillingdon Trades Council, is asking more Branch Secretaries to get involved. The HTC, which is intended to mirror the TUC at local level is an opportunity for multi-union talks and joint lobbying of politicians on issues of mutual interest. At present the airport branches are under-represented in the group.

Any Branch Secretaries who want to get involved should contact Wally Kennedy at haccampign@gmail.com

11th September 2012


Next Heathrow Liaison Committee meet on Thursday 13th September

Airport activists from Unite will be meeting at the union office on New Road (just off the Bath Road next to the Marriott Hotel) this Thursday between 09.30 and 13.30. 


Justine Greening vows to carry on fighting Heathrow

Mayor Boris pledges to ground Heathrow expansion with new review


Minister for Disabled People opposed Remploy closures. Now, she, er…

A Left Foot Forward report


Lufthansa Union Rules Out Strikes For Six Weeks To Allow For Mediation


Amnesty UK workers to strike for first time in over 20 years


Coalition cuts gut health and safety watchdog

Our cynical coalition government shows what little value it places on workers' lives by making even more cuts to the underfunded Health and Safety Executive.

Vince Cable to oversee weakening of H&S and Employment protections

De-regulation kills, warns TUC

10th September 2012


Vince Cable - "Heathrow expansion won't happen"

Airline industry 'backs Heathrow runway'


Trade union officials gather for TUC Congress in Brighton


Zac Goldsmith “offers Boris his Commons seat to challenge Cameron for Tory leadership”

The possibility of Boris Johnson challenging David Cameron for the Tory leadership moves a step closer, with Zac Goldsmith offering to step aside as an MP so that Boris can stand on an anti-Heathrow expansion platform.

9th September 2012


Heathrow border queues set to return

Many of the additional UKBA staff drafted in for the Olympics and Paralympics are due to be released by the end of the month, leaving Heathrow's arriving passengers likely to face similar queues to those that made headlines three months ago.

9th September 2012


EgyptAir Resumes Flights After Cabin Crew Deal

EgyptAir cabin crew strike halts international flights


The Independent: Plane preposterous - the airport debate is awash with tosh

Simon Calder warns that the new Transport Secretary may stay just long enough to say "Doing nothing about airport capacity is not an option" before disappearing into another job.

Meanwhile, the government's refusal to make a decision before the next planned general election in 2015 is creating pressure for increased use of mixed mode or the introduction of night flights as an "interim measure".

DfT statement on setting up an independent commission on UK aviation

68% of Tory members think Cameron is getting ready to U-turn on Heathrow third runway

New planning laws could accelerate airport expansion

Heathrow night flights may return to airport capacity agenda

8th September 2012


Time for our leaders to face up to the facts: Austerity is killing jobs and the recovery

ETUC slams European governments for concentrating their efforts on austerity rather than growth


Lufthansa, Cabin Crew To Resume Talks


BA mulls Qatar Asian alliance


BBC - Reshuffle 'strengthens case against estuary airport'

ABTN Comment: Cameron’s absurd position on aviation

Ouch! Both Boris Johnson and the aviation community turn on David Cameron over his indecisiveness in dealing with the lack of capacity serving London.

Nick Clegg softens approach to extra runways

Heathrow's third runway: noise grows, but will it happen?

7th September 2012


IAG Group August Traffic Rises 5%


Unite General Secretary warns wave of strikes 'will hit Britain'


New research shows how disabled bear brunt of Tory cuts

Not that we would expect anything else from a Prime Minister who gives tax cuts to the rich while attempting to pay for the deficit caused by his cronies' greed by stealing from the poorest and most vulnerable people in the UK.


BA and Qantas announce divorce


Middle East leads global aviation growth


Lufthansa cancels 1,200 flights as crew stage third strike

Lufthansa's hopes that strikes by flight crew might have "little impact" have proved rather optimistic as solid industrial action massively compromises the airline's ability to maintain its flight schedules.

6th September 2012


Virgin confirms bid for London-Scotland flights


Cameron launches airports review

But as the Commission isn't due to report back until 2015 - don't expect a quick u-turn on the 3rd runway, even though the business community is fed up with the coalition's dithering, which is costing the UK £billions. The change of the Tories' position is probably best indicated by the appointment of a former Deputy Governor of the Bank of England as head of the new commission - and who will probably back the City's position on a need for increased airport capacity.

Meanwhile local Labour MP John McDonnell has attacked the government's reconsideration of Heathrow expansion. While Mr McDonnell recognises the importance of the airport to the local economy and as a provider of jobs, he believes that not enough has been done to protect local residents from the side effects of an international hub in their back yard. In particular John has voiced concerns over air quality and noise pollution in Hillingdon.

Former banker to lead review of airport expansion

McDonnell: Third runway would be plane stupid

5th September 2012


Lufthansa Open To Mediation On Crew Strike


Support for £100m Windsor to Heathrow railway link


Heathrow reshuffle row escalates

Boris Johnson speaks out about the reshuffle and condemns David Cameron's decision to replace Justine Greening as Transport Secretary with a minister who is open minded about a third runway at Heathrow.

Aviation Minister, Theresa Villiers was also moved from her job in the reshuffle.

Greening ousted as Heathrow debate hots up

5th September 2012


Lufthansa Crews To Extend To 24 Hour Strike On Friday


TUC publishes spoof gossip mag attacking celebrity tax dodgers

Download your free copy of KERCHING!


Ryanair expects to take 25% in Stansted


Birmingham Airport staff threaten to strike



Lufthansa Says 190 Flights Hit By Strike

Lufthansa cabin crew strike at three airports


Cameron reshuffles his pack of wolves (we'd have described them as hyenas - Ed)

Justine Greening is pushed out of the Transport Secretary position, in what may be a move to avoid the embarassment of her resigning if the Tories do a u-turn on a third runway at Heathrow (as hinted at by George Osborne last week).

Other cabinet positions are filled by Tories who have previously shown that they lack principles or simply that they are not competent. Whilst many will be happy to see Andrew Lansley dropped as Health Secretary, his replacement has hardly covered himself in glory so far. Jeremy Hunt's dealings with Rupert Murdoch's team during the BSkyB bid were highly questionable, leading to several calls that he resign.

Chris Grayling has shown no sense of justice as he refused to meet the families of those killed by health and safety failures at work. Maria Miller was no champion of disabled people in her previous role and we doubt that she is likely to reign in the right wing press in its portrayal of the vulnerable as a "bunch of benefit scroungers" in her new role.

Others like Michael Gove and Eric Pickles simply beg the question, "Do you really not have anyone better to do the job?" For the most part this seems to be a reshuffle of mediocre (lack of) talent that is unlikely to deal with the lack of growth and massive inequalities that the UK is currently facing.

Grayling miserably fails to defend Atos

Lansley’s exit gives opportunity for U-turn on NHS privatisation, says Unite

Heathrow third runway opponent Greening reshuffled

McLoughlin has ‘open mind’ on third runway at Heathrow

4th September 2012


Employers who flout the minimum wage must be named and shamed, says TUC


Secret plans for new four-runway London airport revealed

The Mail reports that a "mystery consortium" is putting forward a proposal for a new four runway airport near London that might be intended to replace Heathrow as the capital's hub. A new independent commission is to be set up by the government to make a recommendation as to the best option to increase airport capacity serving London.

Meanwhile, BAA has slammed a proposal from Nick Clegg that short haul flights should be pushed out from Heathrow to Luton, Gatwick and Stansted, where there is additional capacity.

Clegg Heathrow plan would 'strangle' Heathrow, says BAA

3rd September 2012


Lufthansa Cabin Crew To Strike Again On Tuesday


Met Police accused of brutality to disabled campaigners at DWP protest

The Morning Star reports that disabled protestors at the Department for Work and Pensions were subjected to excessive force, with one wheelchair user suffering a broken shoulder and another tipped out of his chair.

The protest centred around DWP's attempt to strip disabled people of their benefits by the use of private assessors, such as Atos, who have been declaring thousands of people "fit for work" regardless of whether they have cancer, are missing limbs or have other chronic health problems.

3rd September 2012


Birmingham Airport bosses force confrontation with Unite


IAG May Take A Stake In American Airlines


George Osborne says Heathrow third runway is an option

The Chancellor hints that the Tories are getting ready to do a u-turn on a third runway at Heathrow, putting him at odds with the Lib Dems and Transport Minister, Justine Greening.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson backs third Heathrow runway and calls for APD to be scrapped

2nd September 2012


South Africa to drop murder charges

The BBC says that South Africa, which used an apartheid era law to charge striking miners with murder after police shot and killed 37 of them - is to drop the allegations. Prosecutors had claimed that the strikers provoked the police into opening fire - despite video footage appearing to show that police turned up in armoured vehicles, kettled the strikers and then shot them as they tried to run away.

2nd September 2012


American Airlines and US Airways evaluate possible merger

AMR and US Airways sign a non-disclosure agreement as they enter talks over a potential merger. British Airways parent, IAG is also reported to have signed the agreement, suggesting that it may end up being part of a long term plan to bring American Airlines out of bankruptcy protection.

Meanwhile, the Allied Pilots Union, which represents pilots for American has indicated that is not likely to carry out wildcat strikes, despite rejecting the imposition of new contracts by the airline.

American Airlines Pilot Union - No Strike Unless It's Legal

American Airlines given approval for Iberia Express code-share

1st September 2012


Disabled storm Department for Work and Pensions in daring anti-Atos raid


TUC hits back at Government raising state retirement age