United Kingdom: the embarrassing proposals of the Airlines
Wages and staff cuts, workers are the ones who pay the costs of the crisis
In the UK, Ryanair and the most representative pilots 'union, Balpa, produced a draft agreement that would cut Pilots' salaries by 20% which would gradually be reinstated over four years. The agreement is subject to the final approval of Ryanair and to the favorable vote of the union members, the bargaining will end by July 1st.
This agreement provides, in detail, the 20% cut of all the elements that make up a pilot’s salary - basic pay, productivity bonus, training allowance and company pension contribution - with the exception of the annual allowance which will instead remain unchanged. The changes in salary would take effect from July 1 with the initial cut of 20% and, according to the agreement, there would be a first wage increase of 6% in July 2022, a further increase of 6% in July 2023 and finally an 8% increase in July 2024, when it would return to its original conditions.
The draft agreement provides for further measures to reduce costs, such as changes to shifts, use of part-time and unpaid holidays. Ryanair claims that the only way to contain the redundancies, initially estimated at 336 units and which would thus be reduced to 80, is to implement the economic restrictions foreseen in the draft.
According to rumors, negotiations are also underway between the British unions of Ryanair flight attendants and the airline to revise the contracts already sadly known for the inadequate remuneration.
The cross-section of civil aviation in the United Kingdom is dramatically representative of the seriousness of the ongoing crisis: Virgin Atlantic plans to cut around a third of its employees and to terminate operations from London Gatwick; British regional airline Flybe ceased operations in March; the long-haul low-cost airline, Norwegian, ended its relationship with OSM Aviation UK, the temporary agency that provided staff, last April; the very solid easyJet also announced the cut of about 30% of the employees, most of them in the UK, provoking the indignant reaction of Balpa who called this measure an "inconsiderate instinctive reaction".
The most shocking proposal, however, comes from the United Kingdom flag carrier, British Airways, already known for its social dumping policy implemented through the "Mixed Fleet" contracts, which has even declared its intention to fire all employees to summarize only a part and with much more disadvantageous contracts. These statements sparked the outrage of the United Nations secretary general of the United Nations, Len McCluskey, who denounced how the company is using the serious health crisis to "drastically reduce jobs, wages and worsen working conditions".
Workers, especially pilots and flight attendants, are paying the highest price of this crisis, who see their professionalism increasingly diminished, reduced to a mere cost to be cut as much as possible, without considering the consequences that such villains choices will result in the long run.
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