Up in the air

Two contrasting stories regarding the Militant Snack Vendors of British Airways - seen here exercising their god-given right to wander around in the lovely sunshine on full pay - today.

The first, from Socialist Worker is ... errrr ... slightly on the side of the MSV's:

"“I’m absolutely disgusted with the management,” said Paul, who had returned from a long-haul flight on Monday morning and come straight to the picket line.

“The atmosphere is horrible. They intimidate us all the time..

"Walsh has cut cabin crew numbers without negotiation with the union. He wants to attack workers’ pay and conditions and bring in a new fleet of workers on lower pay and with fewer rights.

Life is already hard for BA cabin crew.

“I used to love working here,” said Claire. “But the other day I was sat waiting for take-off and I thought, ‘what am I doing here?’ I’ve never felt like this before.

The right wing media and the Tory government blame cabin crew for this dispute. In reality Walsh has pursued it because he wants to smash the workers.

Everyone is watching the battle at BA. If workers win, against one of the most vicious, bullying bosses in Britain, it will show workers everywhere that they can fight back.

A victory could turn the tide against the bosses and the Tories’ offensive. Trade unionists must waste no time in rushing support and solidarity to the strikers.

Oh dearie, dearie, dear. Those poor wee lambs.

The second, in the Times and provocatively entitled "Why should BA’s cabin crew be paid more than nurses?", could perhaps to be said to be more against than for:

"Apart from MPs, has any group’s reputation plummeted as fast as that of air stewardesses? Within a generation they have gone from being sophisticated glamour girls to a bunch of moody Trotskyites.

BA’s cabin staff have not even begun to understand that the airline industry is no longer an officially sanctioned cartel, where governments fixed prices and staff lived a cushioned existence

BA cabin crew average earnings work out at £603 per week. What occupation would they like to be compared with? Travel and tour guides — whose median earnings according to the Office for National Statistics’ annual survey of hours and earnings 2009 stood at £267 per week? Waiters and waitresses (£237)? Leisure and other personal service occupations (£341)?

BA cabin crew even earn more than nurses (£581) and are not far short of engineering professionals (£683). Can anyone come up with a convincing argument why the people who serve coffee on board an aircraft should be paid almost as much as the people who keep it in the air?"

CF knows which one he's more inclined to believe. How about you?



AndrewSouthLondon said...

Somebody needs to smash Unite before it smashes BA. I can't believe the argument is now about BA strikers right to travel perks. "Socialist Worker demand Travel Perks" - its pure Monty Python.

Reagan got it right with the air traffic controllers. Ultimatum - you either want to work for BA or you don't. Sack them. Its an free labour market, plenty of pretty Polish air stewardesses could restore BAs fortunes.

Ray said...

I don't think they are on full pay, strikers don't get paid for days they are on strike. Unless the union is coughing up for their members missed wages!

If I am wrong, and BA are paying them (or being made to pay them) then that is fairly amazing to me.

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

I agree ASL. Fire the lot.

SadButMadLad said...

I always get confused between Unite and Unison. Both are set on ruining the country so no wonder I get confused.

none said...

I agree with both sides in the dispute - they should all be sacked.

The crew can't see which side their bread's buttered on, and seem oblivious to the recession; and the management can't seem to manage anything - the stock price has been on the longest decline for ages... Walsh has to go; but so do the militant staff.

The way it's going, I wouldn't be surprised if there's a hostile takeover bid next - that'd really put the cat amongst the pigeons.

trolley dollys on £40K a year said...

I see that 20% of BA cabin crew live abroad and need the travel perks to get to work. WTF ? Even govt ministers have to get on the tube or take a bus to work ( allegedly).

banned said...

Fuck 'em all, Fergies complaint was that she only gets £15k oa from X-hubby Andrew.