Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 50 Number 17, May 2, 2020 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Workers' Forum:

Brutal Announcements from the Airline Industry

Since the announcement of aircraft companies like, British Airways, Virgin and Ryanair to cut workforces, manufacturers like Rolls Royce engines has followed the same course. Airbus announced earlier this month it was cutting aircraft production by a third and has furloughed 3,200 workers.

These brutal announcements go by the name of "restructuring". For example, the Financial Times estimated that the so-called restructuring plan would shrink the workforce by up to 15%.

Rolls Royce announced that it too will cut 8,000 jobs, destroying the livelihoods of many more. The British aeroplane engine maker employs 52,000 people worldwide, with 23,000 in this country. In Derby one of the main headquarters for Rolls-Royce, it was said that some of the 10,000 staff at its two sites in the city could be affected. A Rolls-Royce spokesman cried crocodile tears adding: "We have taken swift action to increase our liquidity, dramatically reduce our spending in 2020, and strengthen our resilience in these exceptionally challenging times. They have said that it is unfortunate, but we will need to take further action."

It is the workers who have built up these companies over many years. They have often had to fight hard many times to secure their right of a livelihood. This is the reward for generations of workers who have given their all to build the reputations and strengths of these companies. To add insult to injury the system pays the rich out of the state treasury in the form of bailouts. What kind of alternative is it where the solution is sackings, or the workers' deductions out of their pay-packets? This one-sided spreading of the load gives the lie to the mantra that "we are all in it together". There has to be an alternative! It is certain that serious battles are ahead pivoted around those anti-social, anti-worker slogans that there is no alternative, and we are all in this together. The crucial step now is for the workers to speak out in their own name in their organisations and fight that what they say is what must be done.


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