Archive for May, 2015
Report will test backbone and principles of the Labour Party
In a statement, People Before Profit have reiterated their total opposition to the sale of Aer Lingus to IAG. Recent reports have shown that the company would be forced to make cuts of at least 60 million. The Nyras report mentioned in the Irish Independent have shown that the cuts need to be “aggressive”. The internal Aer Lingus report by Nyras suggests “cutting pilots and cabin crew by 10pc each to make saving of €2.9m, while catering staff should be cut by 25pc for a €3.9m saving”. People Before Profit general spokesperson John Lyons said that this report is shocking.
Cllr John Lyons said: “This report flies in the face of what we have been told about protecting jobs in Aer Lingus. If this sale is finalised it will have a disastrous effect on the workers at the company. As we have been saying for the whole of this debate there will be drastic cuts that will affect the workers of Aer Lingus. This proves categorically that jobs will be lost at the airline despite what the government have been saying.
“The Labour Party has backed this sale despite grave concerns for the workers. The sell out by the Labour Party has been unprecedented. They are actively selling out those people who voted for them.
“We can see with the timing of this report that the government want to sow up the deal and release this shocking report just before the deal is voted on when they believe that there is no turning back.
“If the Labour Party backbenchers had any backbone or principles they would vote against this deal. The cowardly inaction on display by the Labour Party is outrageous. I call, in the strongest possible way, for the government to postpone this vote and appeal to all the TDs who claim to represent workers to vote against this deal”.
John Lyons is a People Before Profit councillor for the Beaumont Donaghmede local electoral area and the People Before Profit general election candidate for Dublin Bay North.
Aer Lingus Sale outrageous betrayal and act of national sabotage – vital strategic asset being sacrificed to a multinational on the altar of neo-liberal ideology.
In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD, for the People Before Profit Alliance has slammed as an outrageous betrayal and act of national sabotage, the decision of the government, and particularly the Labour Party to sell off its remaining 25% stake in Aer Lingus to multinational airline IAG. Deputy Boyd Barrett also rubbished the so-called assurances being given by Minister Paschal Donohue on the issues of connectivity, the Heathrow slots and the protection of jobs, conditions and pensioners, saying that either the government were lying to the public or had been totally hood-winked by Willie Walsh, the CEO of IAG.
Richard Boyd Barrett said: “The decision to sell-off the remaining public share in Aer Lingus is an outrageous betrayal and act of economic sabotage. The government are sacrificing an absolutely vital and hugely valuable public and strategic asset to a multinational company – driven by their blind commitment to neo-liberal economic dogma. It is no wonder that this should be done by Fine Gael – who wants to privatise everything the people of this country own – but it is yet another utterly monstrous betrayal by the Labour Party, who are supposed to stand for something different.
This is a profitable, growing and successful company of huge strategic and historic importance for our country – a company with one billion in cash assets and another billion in tangible assets – and it is to be sold for €1.3 billion. It is total madness.
The revelations about the Aer Lingus NYRA report, with plans for “savings” in, ground handling, catering and maintenance confirm that direct jobs and conditions will come under the axe to be replaced with out-sourcing. The experience of Iberia, when it was taken over by AIG, and Willie Walsh’s previous history at both Aer Lingus and British Airways, make it clear that his modus operandi is to attack jobs and conditions and replace them with outsourcing.
All the so-called assurances about the Heathrow slots and maintaining connectivity are also totally bogus. The ECJ ruled against the British government’s so-called “golden share” in BAA, as it did against the Portuguese government’s “golden shares” in the case of Portugal Telecom and Energias de Portugal.
So these assurances are completely bogus, which means either the government are deliberately deceiving the public or they have been totally hood-winked by Willie Walsh and IAG – whichever it is these assurances must be exposed for what they are.
Another, important consideration and irony in this equation is the fact that AIG is actually loss making currently, and while they predict future profit increases and new jobs, it is equally possible things will go bad for them in the future. This is a crazy and unnecessary risk to take with a company that is successful and of such national importance.
In reality, we are handing away for a song something of enormous value that we will never get back. We are putting the jobs, conditions, pensions and an island nation’s air connectivity into the hands of multinational that cares only about profit and has no loyalty to this country or its citizens. Even now, we should do everything to stop this sale and the government should be ashamed of itself for trying to ram this through before the public even know what has happened.”
Reverse Lone Parent Cuts- No to Child Poverty
Protest- Wed 10th June at 3.30pm, Dail Eireann Gates
Click on above image to enlarge
Israel has launched at least 16 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip since last night. This is the third such assault since the end of the war on Gaza last summer which killed over 2100 Palestinians, including 500 children. This is unacceptable and the Irish government should hold Israel accountable.
In April the Association of International Development Agencies, which includes Oxfam, Save the Children and the Norwegian People’s Aid, called for a suspension of arms transfers to Israel and the revocation of arms export licenses as an urgent requirement to address the root cause of repeated wars and benefit Israelis and Palestinians alike. The aid agencies also called on EU countries to use the EU-Israel Association Agreement as a form of pressure on Israel until it meets its international obligations. They explicitly asked governments to issue clear guidance to national companies, state-owned companies and pension and investment funds, to ensure they do not invest in companies involved in Israeli violations of international law.
Richard Boyd Barrett said: “This latest attack on Gaza must be condemned by the international community. We cannot stand by silently while Israel unleashes further devastation on a civilian population which is still recovering from the unspeakable horrors of Israel’s bombing campaign last summer.
Just last week the World Bank said that Gaza’s economy is on the verge of collapse. Its unemployment rate is the highest in the world and 100,000 people are still homeless because Israel bombed their houses into smithereens.
Have people in Gaza not suffered enough from these assaults and from the seven year Israeli blockade? It really is obscene we continue to deal with Israel as though it were a normal state.
As a matter of priority, Ireland should lead by example and follow the guidelines issued by the Association of International Development Agencies last month in its report on the situation in Gaza. That means issuing clear guidelines to divest from companies involved in the Israeli occupation, and linking trade to accountability. Our government should act immediately. “
World Bank Report:
Association of International Development Agencies Report:
Sale of Aer Lingus will erode workers’ rights, conditions and jobs
IAG’s Willie Walsh Must Resign Immediately as Chairperson of the NTMA
In a statement, People Before Profit spokesperson John Lyons has hit out at the proposed sale of Aer Lingus to the International Airlines Group (IAG). Cllr Lyons has said that despite the fan fare from the government and the business community this deal could yet prove to be one of the worst ever facilitated by an Irish government.
Cllr. Lyons expressed shock at the proposed sale price: “Despite the government fanfare about the €1.3 billion sale price the fact remains that Aer Lingus, which made €70 million in profits last year, currently holds slots which are, according to Deloitte, worth some €925 million and has net cash reserves of a further €445 million. In reality the proposed sale will benefit no one outside of the shareholders of IAG.”
Cllr. Lyons also voiced his grave concerns over the lack of firm guarantees to protect jobs and prevent outsourcing.
“The continuing give away of publicly-owned services and state interests by this government is shameful. The pro-private business and anti-worker policies of the Fine Gael/Labour government will inflict serious harm on Ireland’s economic capacities in the decades to come. It shows that this government will not stop until all publicly-owned services and entities end up in private hands.”
Cllr Lyons continued by noting Willie Walsh’s reputation for union busting and the appalling track record of job losses under his management. During his time as CEO of Aer Lingus he cut 2000 jobs and the IAG takeover of Iberia cost some 4500 jobs.
“Having spoken to a number of airport and Aer Lingus workers I have been told that there is a general unease and fear surrounding this takeover. They are right to feel this way. Willie Walsh has a reputation for union-busting, so much so that he earned the name “Slasher Walsh” during his time as head of both Aer Lingus and British Airways as he savagely cuts costs and laid off thousands of staff and worsened the working terms and conditions of many more. This takeover by IAG represents the selling out of workers by the government who have been completely abandoned by the Labour Party.”
Finally Cllr Lyons pointed to the clear conflict of interest in this deal: “IAG’s Willie Walsh is currently the chairperson of the National Treasury Management Agency which has responsibility for NewERA, the holding company for most state assets. This is surely a conflict of interest as NewERA’s role includes “advising on the governance of the State companies and their respective financial and commercial operation, including the expected rate of return on capital and appropriate dividend policy.” That Mr. Walsh is currently bidding to buy a company in which the state holds a 25.1% interest is most assuredly a clear conflict of interest and I am demanding that Mr. Walsh resign as chairperson of the NTMA immediately.”
John Lyons is a People Before Profit councillor for the Beaumont Donaghmede local electoral area and the People Before Profit candidate for Dublin Bay North for the next general election.
Boyd Barrett questions the European Economics Commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, about a number of pressing economic problems facing Europe.