April 2013

London Chamber of Commerce backs Heathrow in London hub debate

Institute of Directors - London Assembly is ignoring aviation capacity crunch

IATA - CAA’s Proposals Do Not Address Heathrow Cost Issues

IATA says that a Heathrow price cap of 1.3% below inflation is not enough to make London's main business airport compatitive with its European rivals. However, the body that lobbies on behalf of airlines barely notes that the main reason for UK air travel being expensive is the extortionate level of Air Passenger Duty imposed by the government.

Manchester airport cleaners to take 24-hour strike tomorrow

Unite and TSSA in talks to form first ever cross-transport union

CAA caps Heathrow charges, eases controls at Gatwick and Stansted

The CAA announces its charge structure for UK airports for the next 5 years and a change to the way that British aviation is regulated. Heathrow's charges will be capped at 1.3% below inflation, while other airports will be given greater flexibility over what they charge their passengers.

The CAA's decision is seen by some as an attempt to encourage investment at airports other than Heathrow and spread the burden of passenger congestion between the South-East airports serving London (in the absence of any additional capacity becoming available in the near future). An alternative interpretation might be that the CAA has completely caved in to the demands of the powerful airline lobby, which includes Willie Walsh's IAG.

Heathrow's owner has reacted angrily to the new caps on landing fees, pointing to the £11 billion that has been invested in the airport over the past 10 years, for which its investors might reasonably have expected a fair return.

CAA - Flexible Regulation to Protect Passengers

Airport anger at CAA regulation

30th April 2013

BA Sales Manager - "Reducing night flights would damage Heathrow's hub status"

Rescuers give up hunt for garment factory survivors

The Bangladesh government says that there is little hope of finding more survivors in the wreckage of a garment factory where up to a thousand workers are feared to have died. The disaster is a shocking example of mangement failures to implement safety advice - and a warning to other countries about the dangers of putting profits before people's lives.

ETF - Stop jeopardizing jobs in European sky

The European Transport Workers Federation says that further deregulation of aviation without protections for jobs and working conditions will lead to a race to the bottom and compromise passenger safety

Hava-Is close to strike at Turkish Airlines

Turkish Airlines faces a costly strike over its refusal to discuss the reinstatement of 305 sacked workers

LFF - If we don’t believe in free expression for those we despise, we don’t believe in it at all

Hundreds turn out for anti-Heathrow expansion rally

Heathrow boss’s trade warning if expansion not allowed

Rana Plaza Tradegy : Make Garment Factories In Bangladesh Safe

The tragedy in Bangladesh where over 300 workers died because health and safety was ignored highlights the importance of proper inspections and enforcement. People's lives are more important than profit, yet an estimated 50,000 people die in the UK alone every year because of occupational disease and accidents. 

Tomorrow (Sunday, April 28th) is International Workers Memorial Day. The union movement calls on workers everywhere to remember those who have died because of work and fight to prevent avoidable deaths in the future. We also call on UK companies that buy goods manufactured in Asian sweatshops to take responsibility for the factories that make their stock. These factories should be safe, their conditions should be humane and they should not employ child labour. We call on the public to boycott companies that do not abide by these basic requirements.

Bangladesh factory collapse the result of appalling working conditions, says TUC

27th April 2013

Union Threatens Lufthansa With More Strikes

House Passes Senate Bill On US Flight Delays

The US changes rules that have forced air traffic controllers to take one day's unpaid leave every two weeks as a result of Republican demands for public sector cuts in President Obama's last budget

Budget airline may register aircraft in Ireland to avoid Norwegian labour law

Canada resists Qatar bid to move civil aviation body ICAO from Montreal

Willie Walsh's view of the world of global airline alliances

IAG's CEO seems to hint at further mergers and alliances for the aviation giant, together with more cost cutting exercises that could see thousands more lost jobs or reduced wages

100 jobs to go at Aer Lingus

UK economy still in a coma thanks to self defeating austerity warns Unite

Unite to ballot for strike action at Menzies World Cargo

Unite members prepare to ballot for strike action after Menzies demands a two year pay freeze

25th April 2013

Heathrow earnings up on rising traffic and tariffs

ITF - US airspace system ‘threatened’ by compulsory furloughing

The International Transport Workers Federation warns that making air traffic control staff take leave to balance the US budget will not only cause massive delays, but risk the safety of thousands of passengers

Work and Pensions Secretary guilty again of peddling benefit myths, says TUC

The TUC takes Ian Duncan Smith to task after he is caught telling more lies

El Al suspends its flights 'until further notice'

A protest against an "Open Skies" deal that would see more foreign airlines get access to Israel in return for greater access to Europe results in a suspension of El Al flights

US Delays Plan To Allow Small Knives On Planes

A plan to let small knives be carried on US flights is delayed after complaints from representatives of 90,000 flight crew

IAG Gains Control Of Vueling

How many night flights are there in London?

Pay dispute strike effectively shuts down Lufthansa

All but 20 of Lufthansa's 1,700 flights for today ( Monday 22nd April) have been cancelled

Strike ban advocates branded hypocrites

Boris Johnson calls for even tougher anti-union laws. He calls for a ban on strikes without at least a 50% membership vote in favour - yet seems to have no problem with his party ruling Britain despite only 23% of the electorate having voted for them

Walsh threatens Gatwick switch in Heathrow fees row

Virgin Atlantic job name change race claim by Max Kpakio dismissed

A man who was not invited for an interview with Virgin when he applied under his African name, but was accepted when he applied under a Welsh nam has had his claim for racial discrimination rejected by a tribunal. The tribunal accepted Virgin's defence that the difference in the treatment of the two applications was not due to race, but to other differences in the CVs.

Iberia urges unions to return to the negotiating table

Industrial relations at IAG subsidiary Iberia look to be becoming even more complex. A recommendation from a mediator that pilots and cabin crew take a 14% pay cut while ground staff lose 7% of their salary appeared not to be enough for the airline - which demanded an additional 4% pay cut for each group (18% and 11%). 

It is now being reported that Iberia will withdraw its demands for the additional 4% pay cut if unions agree to further improvements in productivity.

21st April 2013

Ryanair to be inspected over Norwegian ‘slave contract’ claims

Investigation finds more flaws in UK Border Agency

UKBA's record on dealing with asylum seekers is criticised by Amnesty International.

CAA set to shake up airport regulation

Now that Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted are under different owners, the CAA looks likely to change the way that it regulates London's airports.

FAA Warns Of 3.5 Hour Flight Delays To US Flights This Summer

Ban blacklisting employers from public procurement says Unite general secretary

MS - Tories launch fresh attack on right to strike

A group of Tories demand that strikes are made illegal on the underground. Workers in aviation and other industries should be very wary of this move, as other countries that have pursued similar legislation have typically attempted to ban industrial action across the whole transport sector.

16th April 2013

TUC slams decision to cut Equality and Human Rights Commission's remit

The TUC and many other groups condemn a government decision to strip the Equality and Human Rights Commission of its general duty to promote equality. The EHRC is also facing massive budget cuts at a time that inequalities in society are increasing and hate crime is on the rise (for which the right-wing press must take a large share of the blame).

Shares for rights vote defies logic, says TUC

The government ignores unions, employers and the House of Lords as it presses forwards with plans to encourage workers to give up basic employment rights in return for company shares

Virgin Atlantic job name change race claim by Max Kpakio

A man who says Virgin rejected his application to work at a call centre until he changed the name on his C.V. has his claim heard in Swansea. Virgin says that the change from an African name to a Welsh one was not the reason that his revised application was treated differently

ITF in solidarity with COPE members at Toronto Island Airport

Len McCluskey re-elected as Unite general secretary

GLA - Heathrow Airport night flights 'disturb sleep and should stop'

The London Assembly asks the Department for Transport to either completely ban night flights at Heathrow, or to bring in and strictly enforce a curfew on the hours that flights can take off and land

Report calls for more Heathrow jets to pass over Windsor at night

13th April 2013

Are EU rules on airline ownership hampering Willie Walsh plans for world domination?

British Airways Parent IAG Favors More Mergers, CEO Walsh Says

Ryanair under investigation in Norway over employees "slave labour" contracts

Kingfisher Submits Plan To Restart Airline

Kingfisher applies to have its licence to operate reinstated. But is this plan realisitic, with around $1.4 billion owed to various parties and key slots allocated to other airlines?

Cartoon from today's The Independent

Glenda Jackson defies Labour leadersip to tell of the destruction caused by Thatcherism

Labour politician Glenda Jackson gives a stirring speech on the evils of Thatcherism while the rest of the House of Commons seems intent on elevating the former Prime Minister to sainthood. This short video is well worth watching to remind us what the "Iron Lady" was really like and the legacy she has left behind

WTTC 2013: Aviation takes centre stage at Global Summit

Airlines at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit say that an immediate abolition of air passenger taxes would be one of the quickest and most effective ways to reboot world economic growth

IAG chief Willie Walsh slams Government over visas and Heathrow

WTTC 2013: Walsh renews criticism of UK government

Vueling Board Accepts IAG Takeover Offer

IAG moves closer to taking over low cost Spanish airline Vueling. Will this result in more job losses and wage cuts in the Spanish aviation industry? There is no love lost between the Spanish workers and Willie Walsh, so this decision may not be well received.

The woman who tore Britain apart

As the right wing press tries to rewrite history to portray Margaret Thatcher as a saint, thousands of others tell of how she tore communities apart, destroyed countless jobs in mining, manufacturing and the public sector and threw families into poverty. She was also a supporter of some of the worst dictatorships in the world, refused to join in sanctions against apartheid and sold arms to some of the most brutally repressive regimes.

She stole trade union rights. She sold off council houses while preventing councils from using the money to build replacements - leading to massive increases in the cost of living as landlords raised rents to record levels. She sold off many of the nationalised industries, leading to higher costs to the taxpayer so that shareholders continued to get their dividends. 

Under Thatcher we saw unemployment soar and inflation go through the roof. Scotland's desire for independence was boosted by her choice to impose the hated poll tax there first.

Thatcher was a champion of the 1% and an enemy of the 99%. She stood for everything that socialists despise and have fought against for 200 years. Her legacy lives on in the current Tory Party (and to some extent in New Labour). So please don't ask the trade unions to forget the damage that she did to society. She showed no respect to the majority of human beings in her life and we have no reason to show her any special respect in her death.
Was Thatcher a 'Champion of Freedom and Democracy'? Don't be silly

7th April 2013

Branson renews calls for government to be “brave” on Heathrow

Transatlantic flights 'to get more turbulent'

Scientists warn that one of the effects of climate change over the coming decades is likely to be higher and less predictable winds, which could lead to more turbulence for passengers and higher fuel costs for airlines.

Air Travel To Get Bumpier As CO2 Emissions Rise

TUC welcomes US Treasury call for Europe to ease off austerity measures

The Chancellor's flawed economic strategy is even attracting criticism from the US government

Airlines hit market turbulence over new bird flu fears

Unite - Millionaires raise a glass to Osborne while he hammers the poor

Cut in top-rate tax a 'slap in the face' for struggling Britons, says the TUC

The government's lie about us being "all in this together" is exposed as high earners get a 5% tax break, while benefits are cut, capped or limited to a sub-inflation 1% and social housing tenants are hit with the bedroom tax.

Boris Johnson asked to help cut Heathrow Express fare

Chile national airline sackings condemned by ITF

UK Border Agency and Home Office strike called off

A planned strike by PCS at the UK Border Agency is called off after a legal challenge by the government. However, the government's decision to use the courts rather than negotiation to prevent the strike is seen as provocative by the union and the dispute seems likely to escalate.

4th April 2013

Brockley campaign success against Heathrow flight path

Anti-noise campaigners claim success after a decision is made not to extend a trial on night flights

MPs to unite across party lines for anti-Heathrow expansion demo

MS - Amnesty hails new arms trade treaty

The first UN global treaty on (non-nuclear) arms is finally signed. It is hoped that the treaty will prevent, or at least reduce the number of conventional weapons sold to repressive regimes. While the treaty is a major achievement, many people believe that countries with large arms industries (such as the UK) will continue to export weapons to nations with poor records on human rights.

IATA: Cargo continues cautious recovery

Strike announced by border staff at ports and airports

PCS announce a 24 hour strike on the 8th of April in response to government attacks on wages, pensions and conditions

Last-minute delay for Qatar's new airport

A new airport in Qatar, that could become a serious competitor to Heathrow and European hubs has its opening delayed (again) due to safety concerns. This should not give too much comfort to UK businesses, as continued failure to develop a long term aviation strategy will ultimately lead to trading opportunities being lost and billions in new business heading elsewhere.

3rd April 2013

New Dubai Airport To Launch On October 27

CitySprint continues expansion strategy with acquisition of Heathrow Baggage Services

UK manufacturers back third runway at Heathrow Airport

200,000 people sign a petition for IDS to prove his claim

Samoa Air boss defends charging passengers by weight

Will more airlines start charging passengers according to their weight?

Austerity Threatens EU Competitive Position

Businesses, trade groups and EU officials claim that austerity measures are damaging growth and making it difficult to maintain Europe's competitive position in the global economy

IAG increases its offer for Spanis carrier Vueling

Dubai overtakes CDG, eyes beating Heathrow by 2015

Civil aviation workers have their say!