The Workers Party of Britain condemns Securitas for using the pandemic as a cynical excuse to merge emergency first responders at Airbus Filton with the general security team, a move which would both prejudice safety on the site and worsen the conditions of employment for this vital contingent of workers.
Following in the footsteps of other rogue employers like British Airways, first responders are being pressured to accept new and inferior contracts or else face losing their jobs. Under the new contracts, workers would suffer a loss of salary of as much as £6,000 as well as reductions in holiday and sickness pay.
Yet the first responders at Filton have undergone special training to provide critical first response aid. By blurring the distinction between guards and first responders, Securitas would be compromising health and safety at Filton, to the benefit of neither group of workers.
The pretence by Securitas that its decision was dictated solely by the coronavirus pandemic fools nobody. Workers well recall that four years ago management had already pushed a similar merger stunt, successfully resisted on that occasion. Now under cover of the Covid smokescreen they have come back for another go.
Securitas, a multimillion-pound international security company, hopes that by cutting corners on safety and cutting its labour costs at Filton it will be able to wring even greater profits from its workforce.
But the ten unionised first responders affected are in no mood to put up with this management bullying and have voted unanimously in favour of strike action in December. In taking this action they deserve the support of all workers.
The Workers Party of Britain congratulates the strikers on their bold rebuff to this rogue employer, setting an example for workers everywhere.
Strike dates announced by Unite:
The first strike will take place on 1 December from 6.00am and end on 4 December at 6.00pm. A second round of strike action will begin at 6.00am on 14 December and end at 6.00pm on 17 December.