On 5th March, Flybe – Europe’s largest regional airline – collapsed, with 2,400 workers suddenly losing their jobs. Workers and passengers were given virtually no warning. Flybe sent texts out at 2am, telling anyone booked on one of their flights not to travel to the airport. No alternative flights were arranged and many workers and passengers were left stranded, unable to get refunds.
In an unprecedented move, 98% of members at a consultative meeting of Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland (CPNI) – representing pharmacy contractors – voted to take industrial action over a funding crisis which they described as leaving “crucial frontline services” at “breaking point”.
Following 8 days of heroic industrial action by UCU members at 60 Universities, our employers are trying to give the appearance of concessions. In reality they have offered no concrete promises. This time, workers at 14 more universities will join the picket lines after smashing the Tories undemocratic anti-union laws at the second attempt.
The recent round of industrial action taken in the health service was an example of the power that workers have through collective struggle. The campaign of escalating industrial action, involving multiple unions and including coordinated strikes, brought the issues of pay inequality and under-staffing to the fore.