The Workers Party of Britain denounces the attempt by Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) to conduct negotiations with its employees with a gun to their heads.
HAL, which is owned by a consortium of sovereign wealth and pension funds and announced at the beginning of the lockdown that it was sitting on capital of £3.2bn, has been happy to siphon off public funds under the cruelly misnamed Job Retention Scheme, furloughing over 4,000 of its employees.
But now that this subsidy to big business is drying up, and due to finish completely by the end of October, HAL’s only consideration is to boost profits with no regard to the interests of the people whose work actually keeps the airport functioning.
Up to 4,700 of the engineers, airside operations and security staff working at Heathrow are now facing a blunt ultimatum from airport bosses: either submit to the imposition of pay cuts of up to 24 percent and the closure of the final-salary pension scheme, or face the loss of about a quarter of their jobs, amounting to roughly 1,200 posts.
This gangsterism is not driven by a threat to HAL’s survival. It is solely driven by simple greed, by a desire to use the pretext of the pandemic crisis to slash labour costs now so as to boost profits in the future.
This thuggish attack on workers must be resisted.