Airlines workers struggles

Lufthansa, backed by unions, expands job cuts

By Ulrich Rippert, 8 August 2020

In stepping up its attacks on airline workers, Lufthansa collaborates closely with its three unions—UFO, Cockpit and Verdi.

BALPA pilots union enforces sell-out deal at British Airways

By Barry Mason, 4 August 2020

The pilots voted for the agreement with a gun pointed to their heads by the union.

American Airlines announces 25,000 job cuts

By Steve Filips, 18 July 2020

The unions have not taken any action to fight for safety or defend jobs. Their only response has been to plead for another government bailout for the airlines.

United Airlines threatens to axe 36,000 jobs

By Steve Filips, 9 July 2020

The threat by United to lay off 45 percent of its workforce is part of a widespread restructuring of the US and international airline industry.

Delta Airlines workers expose unsafe working conditions

By Tim Rivers, 9 July 2020

With the airlines increasing flights and slashing jobs, Delta flight crew members spoke to the WSWS about working conditions during the pandemic

French unions collaborate with employers to impose mass layoffs as COVID-19 crisis deepens

By Will Morrow, 4 July 2020

As an international wave of layoffs and plant closures comes in France, the trade unions are working closely with the Macron government and employers to suppress workers’ opposition to this assault.

“It’s back to the way it was before I made things public,” says whistleblower

As flights increase, airline workers face more COVID-19 dangers

By Steve Filips, 2 July 2020

Even as the pandemic continues to surge, airlines continue to push for increased flights. American Airlines has resumed booking its flights to capacity on July 1. United Airlines, which never blocked out seats or limited capacity, will be adding 25,000 flights in August.

Unite offers support for 10 percent job losses at British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair

By Laura Tiernan, 2 July 2020

The scale of the ongoing jobs massacre was underscored by EasyJet’s announcement Tuesday that 1,900 pilots, cabin crew and ground staff will be made redundant, with Airbus announcing 12,300 job cuts worldwide by Summer 2021, including 1,700 in the UK.

Australia’s largest airline Qantas axes 6,000 jobs to slash costs

By Terry Cook, 2 July 2020

Like its competitors internationally, Qantas is seizing on the COVID-19 pandemic to carry out a further pro-business restructuring of its operations.

British Airways workers denounce company “offer” to slash pay and conditions

By John Newham and Laura Tiernan, 27 June 2020

BA workers must break free of the corporatist grip of the unions and fight for rank-and-file committees to organise joint action with airline workers across the globe.

Aviation industry workers face deep cuts to pay and hours worldwide

By Steve Filips, 20 June 2020

Airlines are slashing jobs, pay, and hours of workers in a desperate attempt to bolster profits at worker expense during the pandemic.

Air France-KLM prepares to slash at least 6,000 jobs

By Anthony Torres, 20 June 2020

After receiving a €7 billion public bailout, the French-Dutch airline is preparing to slash between 6,000 and 10,000 jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

British Airways workers in limbo as deadline for mass redundancies passes

By Alice Summers and John Newham, 19 June 2020

One BA worker told the WSWS, “I’ve been with BA for 25 years and was earning more than this new contract in 1996!”

German unions compete to offer greater cuts at Lufthansa

By Gustav Kemper, 15 June 2020

The union leaders falsely claim employees are “ stakeholders ” in the private company, but to the owners they are mere “ unit costs ” to be sacrificed to shore up profits.

US aviation workers face massive job cuts amid talk of airline bankruptcies

By Steve Filips, 25 May 2020

Airline workers face likely mass job cuts after September when the federal ban on layoffs tied to bailout money expires.

As hundreds across Europe die daily from coronavirus

European Union pushes reopening of beach resorts and hotels for summer holiday season

By Jordan Shilton, 23 May 2020

Piling one lie on another, the EU Commission claimed its guidelines would restore “transport services across the EU while protecting the health of transport workers and passengers.”

Germany’s Lufthansa: Billions in state aid and mass layoffs

By Peter Schwarz, 2 May 2020

The airline unions are appealing to Chancellor Merkel for state intervention.

British Airways announces 12,000 redundancies amid global airline jobs massacre

By Thomas Scripps, 30 April 2020

The job losses will devastate tens of thousands and are a warning to workers of the economic “reconstruction” being prepared by the ruling elite in the wake of the pandemic.

Thousands of jobs on the line after Virgin Australia goes into administration

By Terry Cook, 24 April 2020

The announcement by Virgin Australia, the country’s second largest domestic carrier, threatens at least 15,000 jobs.

German airline Lufthansa receives multibillion-euro bailout, prepares to cut 18,000 jobs

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting, 14 April 2020

Europe’s largest airline, is exploiting the coronavirus pandemic to implement long-planned attacks on their workforces.

UK: Heathrow Airport demands workers to take pay cut or face dismissal

By Alice Summers, 11 April 2020

With significantly reduced air traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic, Heathrow Airport told thousands of workers that they must accept a 15 percent wage reduction, or they will lose their jobs.

“We are expendable”: Delta flight attendant speaks on corporate recklessness at US airlines

By Tim Rivers, 10 April 2020

While the airlines, which were recently handed $58 billion in bailout money, have not released accurate data, recent reports indicate that hundreds of US airline workers have already been infected with COVID-19.

Mounting opposition among German health care, industrial workers

By Ulrich Rippert, 4 April 2020

The German government has implemented a bailout program for major companies and banks, but health care and industrial workers are forced to work under catastrophic conditions.

Scandinavian Airlines lays off 10,000 airline workers as coronavirus triggers global jobs massacre

By Jordan Shilton, 17 March 2020

The devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic on workers in the travel industry and related sectors is not confined to Scandinavia, but is unfolding on a global scale.

Growing opposition to company-union attacks at Qantas Australia

By Terry Cook, 13 March 2020

The attempt by Qantas and its low-cost subsidiary Jetstar to slash the conditions of pilots and ground crews is part of a global onslaught against airline workers.

Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe, collapses citing coronavirus impact as final straw

By Robert Stevens, 6 March 2020

The company’s final flights were either grounded minutes before take-off or diverted to the nearest airport in mid-air so that planes could be impounded.

Qantas threatens to replace pilots with outside crews

By Terry Cook, 21 February 2020

Qantas has issued an ultimatum to its long-haul pilots, while its low-cost Jetstar airline confronts its pilots and ground crews.

American Airlines contract talks with unions at a standstill

By Steve Filips, 31 January 2020

American Airlines and four unions are in contract negotiations over health care, retirement benefits, and scheduling issues.

Banks to give $10 billion bailout to Boeing, nothing to the families of the dead

By Bryan Dyne, 23 January 2020

A pittance has been provided to the 346 families who lost loved ones in the two Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes, even as major financial institutions are moving to provide billions of dollars to prop up the aerospace giant.

Delta workers poisoned by toxic work uniforms file class action lawsuit

By Tom Carter, 17 January 2020

“I am confident that these uniforms are affecting many thousands of people,” lead attorney Bruce A. Maxwell told the World Socialist Web Site.

UK Flybe airline reaches bailout deal with government

By Thomas Scripps, 15 January 2020

Emergency discussions with the government followed a decade of deep financial trouble for Flybe, which has suffered under the pressure of intensifying competition in the airline industry.

After two crashes that killed 346 people

Fired CEO Dennis Muilenburg gets $80.7 million on exit from Boeing

By Bryan Dyne, 13 January 2020

The aerospace giant allocated only $50 million to compensate the 346 families who lost loved ones in the two Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes, $144,500 for each life lost.

US, Canada blame plane crash on Iran as causes remain unclear

By Clara Weiss, 10 January 2020

With the investigation into the causes for the crash having barely begun, US and Canadian officials have accused Iran of downing of the plane.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg forced to resign

By Bryan Dyne, 24 December 2019

Muilenburg’s removal will not change the underlying drive by Boeing for ever-greater profits at the expense of human lives.

BALPA trade union sells out British Airways pilots struggle

By Barry Mason, 24 December 2019

BALPA have forced through an agreement over pay that workers previously threw out.

Boeing suspends production of deadly 737 Max 8 aircraft

By Bryan Dyne, 23 December 2019

No Boeing executives or Federal Aviation Administration officials have yet been charged, let alone prosecuted, for the two.

Jetstar Australia pilots and airline workers strike over wages and conditions

By Terry Cook and Oscar Grenfell, 18 December 2019

The stoppages are part of a global wave of opposition by airline workers to cost-cutting.

One year since the first Boeing 737 Max 8 crash

By Bryan Dyne, 29 October 2019

The year since the crash in Indonesia has exposed the collusion between Boeing, the federal government and the trade unions that led to the deaths of 346 men, women and children.

Redundant Thomas Cook workers speak out at Manchester jobs fair

By our reporters, 5 October 2019

WSWS reporters spoke to the company’s former employees attending the fair.

The mounting human cost of the Thomas Cook collapse

By Richard Tyler, 28 September 2019

The international scale of the crisis, with devastating economic and social implications, has rapidly become clear.

UK pilots’ union BALPA shuts down strikes at two airlines

By our reporter, 27 September 2019

From the beginning, BALPA worked to strangle the struggle of the pilots and prevent a unified offensive by pilots across the industry with other airline staff.

New York Times magazine blames pilots for Boeing crashes

By Bryan Dyne, 24 September 2019

The article is an attempt to whitewash the profit-driven negligence of Boeing and complicity of the industry-dominated Federal Aviation Administration that led to two crashes of Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft and the deaths of 346 people.

Two-day strike by 4,000 British Airways pilots concludes

By Will Morrow, 12 September 2019

The strike demonstrated the immense objective power of the working class. It cancelled 1,700 flights over two days, affecting 300,000 passengers.

Virgin Australia axes 750 jobs

By Terry Cook, 11 September 2019

The immediate consequence of the restructure is the destruction of 750 jobs, or around 7 percent of the carrier’s workforce, to achieve savings of $75 million a year.

Strike by thousands of pilots shuts down British Airways

By Richard Tyler, 10 September 2019

British Airways’ main base at Heathrow, Terminal 5, was described as a “ghost town,” as 4,000 BA pilots began a two-day strike on Monday.

Ryanair faces industrial unrest across Europe

By our reporter, 22 August 2019

Ryanair organises its operations on a pan-European basis and faces a situation in which workers in four of its subsidiaries are in dispute.

More strikes called off by UK airline unions

By Margot Miller, 10 August 2019

Airline staff in many different countries, who are determined to fight to defend their wages, jobs and conditions, face sabotage by trade unions working to isolate and suppress their struggles.

Alitalia workers to bear the costs of selloff of Italy’s national airline

By Marianne Arens, 3 August 2019

With the full support of the unions, Italy’s government and major investors are preparing to implement sweeping attacks on Alitalia’s workforce in the name of retaining the company as a “national airline.”

Unions step up sabotage of airline workers’ struggles in Europe

By Robert Stevens, 3 August 2019

The unions across Europe are working in concert to head off any united offensive by airline workers.

European regulator uncovers autopilot problem on Boeing 737 Max

By Bryan Dyne, 13 July 2019

A leaked document from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency lists five different reasons to keep the 737 Max 8 aircraft grounded.

045 US airlines/Seatac struggle for minimum wage

3 July 2019

Strike by Taiwanese flight attendants points to growing workers’ discontent in global airline industry

By Ben McGrath, 26 June 2019

Airline companies around the world are seeking to extract ever-greater profits by slashing wages and increasing working hours.

After two crashes that killed 346 people

Boeing rejects pilot simulator training for 737 Max 8

By Bryan Dyne, 4 June 2019

The aerospace giant is brazenly putting profits before people even as its CEO admits that the company did not correctly implement the installation of MCAS anti-stall software.

Former Boeing engineers say safety compromised by cost-cutting drive

By Bryan Dyne, 14 May 2019

No Boeing executives have been arrested or even charged in connection with two crashes that killed 346 people.

Boeing continues to whitewash 737 crashes

By Bryan Dyne, 8 May 2019

Aviation journalist Rytis Beresnevičius: “The press release is just Boeing shifting the blame somewhere else. They are defending their greed.”

Strike by 1,400 pilots grounds hundreds of flights at Scandinavian Airlines

By Jordan Shilton, 29 April 2019

While pilots, cabin crew, and ground staff have suffered wage cuts since 2012, SAS chief executive Rickard Gustafson’s total compensation has shot up by 38 percent over the past three years.

Major Indian airline grounded, threatening 23,000 jobs

By Deepal Jayasekera, 23 April 2019

The crisis facing Jet Airways, and which has caused it to ground all its aircraft, is part of a global crisis of the aviation industry.

“Why did Boeing make it like that? Pure negligence and greed. There is simply no other answer.”

Aviation reporter Rytis Beresnevičius speaks to WSWS on Boeing 737 crashes

By Bryan Dyne, 20 April 2019

Rytis Beresnevičius has closely followed the two recent Boeing 737 Max 8 crashes and the engineering, executive and regulatory decisions that led to these disasters.

Boeing CEO praised “streamlined” oversight of 737 plane that crashed in Indonesia and Ethiopia

By Barry Grey, 6 April 2019

Muilenberg’s praise for the gutting of government oversight points to the subordination of safety concerns to profit and the transformation of regulatory agencies into rubber stamps for the corporations.

Investigation shows that a malfunctioning Boeing sensor caused Ethiopian Airlines crash

By Kevin Reed, 5 April 2019

The preliminary report by the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau shows that a faulty angle-of-attack sensor was behind the crash on March 10 that killed 157 passengers and crew.

Why aren’t Boeing executives being prosecuted for the 737 Max 8 crashes?

By Bryan Dyne, 4 April 2019

Not a single Boeing executive has been charged, much less arrested, for entirely avoidable tragedies that killed a total of 346 people.

No training for pilots on new automated system

Boeing, FAA, pilots unions complicit in rushing doomed jets into service

By Trévon Austin, 18 March 2019

Southwest pilots union official: “They were building the airplane and still designing it.”

Federal Aviation Administration accused of colluding with Boeing in wake of 737 crashes

By Dan Conway, 15 March 2019

The planes were finally grounded in the US on Wednesday after the FAA repeatedly assured the public that they were safe to fly.

Profits over people

US refuses to ground Boeing jet despite second crash in five months

By Barry Grey, 13 March 2019

There are immense financial interests bound up with the profitability and stock price of Boeing that far outweigh the danger of more destruction of human life and suffering for victims’ friends and family.

Southwest Airlines sues airline mechanics over alleged slowdown

By Tom Hall, 4 March 2019

Southwest mechanics have been working for six years without a raise under a management regime that disregards safety.

Flight attendant paralyzed after Delta ordered flight through tropical storm

The workers’ compensation nightmare at Delta Airlines: Part three

By Tom Hall, 14 February 2019

Jane’s condition has been made significantly worse by lengthy delays in treatment caused by Delta’s workers’ compensation administrator, Sedgwick.

Delta planted GPS tracker in car of disabled flight attendant

The workers’ compensation nightmare at Delta Airlines: Part two

By Tom Hall, 13 February 2019

In order to “prove” their case against injured flight attendant Ashley, Delta hired private investigators to spy on her, a common practice in workers’ comp cases.

Injured flight attendants speak to the WSWS

The workers’ compensation nightmare at Delta Airlines: Part one

By Tom Hall, 12 February 2019

Several seriously injured Delta Airlines flight attendants recently spoke to the World Socialist Web Site about the hellish ordeal confronting workers who seek assistance through the company’s workers’ compensation system.

Australia: Tigerair pilots locked in dispute over wages and conditions

By John Harris, 8 February 2019

Tigerair is seeking to set a new benchmark in the assault on the wages and conditions of pilots, a highly-skilled cohort of professionals with immense responsibilities.

025 Conditions for US flight attendants

28 January 2019

BJP government pushes Air India into financial morass to hasten privatization

By Kranti Kumara, 28 September 2018

The Indian government is determined to sell off what is among the country’s most identifiable companies internationally, so as to underline its commitment to the fire sale of public assets.

The Ryanair strike and the resurgence of international class struggle

By Robert Stevens, 8 August 2018

The class struggle is reaching a higher stage of development, posing strategic issues before every section of the international working class.

Ryanair’s mass sacking threat raises need for globally coordinated struggle of airline workers

By Steve James, 2 August 2018

The role of the unions in the airline and other industries is to isolate any struggle, impose the demands of the companies and prevent a unified fight of the entire working class.

German Ryanair pilots ready to strike

By Marianne Arens, 1 August 2018

Every Ryanair pilot who voted cast his or her ballot for strike action, but the Cockpit trade union is seeking to collaborate with management.

Ryanair workers set to strike across Europe

By Steve James, 24 July 2018

Ryanair pilots based in Ireland are to hold a third 24-hour strike today, while on Wednesday and Thursday, Ryanair cabin crew in Belgium, Portugal and Spain are also due to strike in a coordinated action.

Unions call four-day strike at Air France

By Kumaran Ira, 14 June 2018

The strike call comes amid rising anger in the workforce after workers voted to reject a concessions contract negotiation by the unions and Air France management.

Disregard for passenger safety exposed in wake of fatal Southwest Airlines engine explosion

By Alec Andersen, 21 April 2018

Southwest Airlines has pushed back against inspection directives even as mechanics have reportedly raised numerous safety concerns which have been dismissed by the airline.

The havoc at New York’s JFK Airport and the decay of US infrastructure

By Bill Van Auken, 9 January 2018

The chaos produced by a one-day snow storm has laid bare the disastrous state of social infrastructure in the capital of America’s financial oligarchy.

Protesting workers at bankrupt Air Berlin denounce Merkel government

By Gustav Kemper, 27 November 2017

More than a thousand employees of the insolvent airline gathered Wednesday in front of Berlin Central Station for a demonstration against imminent mass redundancies.

Teamsters Canada sells out Swissport ground crew strike at Toronto’s Pearson Airport

By Dylan Lubao, 13 November 2017

After 11 weeks of union-imposed isolation, 700 Swissport workers reluctantly ratified a sell-out contract.

Mixed fleet cabin crew continue strike against British Airways

By Ross Mitchell, 22 July 2017

Unite is seeking to divert the struggle of cabin crew into the dead end of legal appeals against BA’s actions and are insisting strikers put their faith in appeals to Members of Parliament.

SEIU cuts short three-day strike of New York airport workers

By Isaac Finn, 13 July 2017

Following a walkout on July 11 of roughly 700 workers at Newark Liberty International Airport, SEIU 32BJ ended a threatened three-day strike against PrimeFlight Inc., after the company agreed to negotiate.

Trump unveils plan to privatize air traffic control system

By Patrick Martin, 6 June 2017

The plan combines elements proposed by Republican and Democratic administrations over three decades, going back to the attack on the air traffic controllers union in 1981.

As anger grows against US carriers, Spirit Airlines scapegoats pilots

By Jerry White, 12 May 2017

In one of the latest widely publicized incidents, passengers erupted in rage at a Spirit Airlines ticket counter in Florida after flight cancellations and delays.

Verdi union shuts down Berlin airport workers strike

By Gustav Kemper and Marianne Arens, 17 March 2017

The union stopped a strike by ground crew at the Berlin airports, despite the employer’s refusal to submit a new offer.

UK: Unite union imposes isolation of Heathrow cabin crew strike

By Ross Mitchell and Robert Stevens, 11 March 2017

Unite has done nothing to mobilise the support of other cabin crew in defence of the Heathrow crew, either at that airport or at any other in the UK.

Lufthansa-union agreement on arbitration ruling: An attack on pilots in Germany

By Dietmar Henning, 18 February 2017

Lufthansa and the pilots union have accepted an arbitration ruling on compensation for 5,400 pilots, and the airline linked the agreement with a new declaration of war on workers.

Striking British Airways cabin crew explain appalling work contract

By Ross Mitchell, 24 January 2017

The WSWS spoke to striking British Airways cabin crew at their picket at Hatton Cross Metro station last week during a 72-hour strike.

Striking Lufthansa pilots demonstrate in Frankfurt

By Marianne Arens, 2 December 2016

Hundreds of striking Lufthansa pilots gathered at Rhein-Main Airport in Frankfurt on day seven of the latest pilots’ strike.

Lufthansa makes new offer to striking pilots

By Dietmar Henning, 28 November 2016

The offer made by the Lufthansa board on Friday evening is aimed at breaking the resistance of the pilots’ union and pushing through fundamental changes in working conditions.

Germany: UFO union calls off strikes and begs for hearing with Lufthansa bosses

By Dietmar Henning, 2 November 2016

The Independent Flight Attendants Organisation has cancelled strikes planned for this week at Eurowings, declaring it is “speechless” at the company's tough stance.

Unions at Germany’s TUIfly airlines act as strikebreakers

By Ulrich Rippert, 14 October 2016

The workers at TUIfly are putting up fierce opposition to a restructuring plan accompanied by extensive job and wage cuts.

Lufthansa sets a course for confrontation with pilots

By Marianne Arens, 16 August 2016

The breaking off of talks between the pilots’ union and management heralds a new phase in the dispute.

German Labour Court declares air traffic controllers strike illegal

By Marianne Arens, 2 August 2016

The federal Labour Court in Erfurt ordered the aircraft controllers union GdF to pay airport operator Fraport millions in damages following the 2012 strike.

Lack of job protection for European pilots turns dream job into nightmare

By Marianne Arens, 26 July 2016

A growing number of pilots in Europe are compelled to accept short-term contracts, sham self-employment and insecure employment relations.

Lufthansa flight attendants union accepts arbitration agreement

By Marianne Arens, 6 July 2016

By agreeing to the arbitration award, the union is stabbing cabin staff and pilots in the back in their struggle to defend jobs, wages and pensions.

Delta Airlines pilots hold protest over stalled contract talks

By Shannon Jones, 25 June 2016

With the airline recording massive profits, pilots are seeking to recoup concessions including average pay cuts of over 40 percent.

Air France announces pay cuts for pilots

By Anthony Torres, 14 May 2016

The cuts at the airline are the product of the betrayal of the 2014 pilots strike by the National Union of Airline Pilots.

Belgian air traffic controllers launch wildcat strike at Brussels airport

By Robert Stevens, 14 April 2016

The working class throughout Belgium and Europe must come to the defense of the striking air traffic controllers, who have taken a courageous stand against attacks on retirement.

Australia: Qantas reaps record profits by slashing jobs and wages

By Terry Cook, 5 March 2016

Deep cuts have been imposed on the airline’s workers through a combination of intimidation and the collaboration of the trade unions.