The Workers Party of Britain denounces the failure of chancellor Rishi Sunak to make good on his pledge, made back in March, to come up with a plan to assist the aviation industry through its current crisis.
Instead, as one wave of lay-offs has succeeded another, with 60,000 redundancies already announced and more coming down the line, there has been a deafening silence from Number Eleven.
The aviation sector is key to the national economy, to which, in an average year, it contributes £22bn. Whatever happens post-covid, air travel will still be essential to Britain, and it is the sheerest vandalism for the government to just sit back and watch as the guts are torn out of the industry.
A number of other countries, including Germany and France, have been more proactive in defence of their aviation sectors than has Britain. This demonstrates that, even within the constraints of a market economy, there is some leeway for state intervention to stem the flow of redundancies.
The Workers Party of Britain supports Unite’s demand that Sunak deliver on his pledges, whilst recognising that in the long term the only rational future for Britain’s aviation sector is to come under public ownership, forming part of a fully integrated public transport system.
Meanwhile, whilst the profit-driven airline companies wrangle with the government over who is to be propped up and who goes to the wall, workers will be wise to place their trust in neither the capitalist employers nor the capitalist state, instead relying upon their organised strength to fight tooth and nail for every job.