Monday, August 15, 2005

Conspiracies and airline food


A couple of days I wrote a post about the strike at Heathrow Airport and said…

Our Brave New World is increasingly staffed by people working on shit money, doing crappy menial work for outsourced contracting firms. As well as offering the claimed economies of scale, the other key advantage to outsourcing is that big firms like British Airways can reduce their own workforce and wash their hands if their contractors fuck up or treat their minimum wage employees like shit. So, when a company like Gate Gourmet tries to screw over its existing workforce of unskilled, largely ethnic minority employees by replacing them with even more desperate ethnic labour, straight off the boat, British Airways can pretend that is nothing to do with them. Clearly, at least some of the staff at Heathrow aren’t buying that bullshit and walked out in sympathy.

This morning I read this story from the Daily Mirror

The catering firm at the centre of the Heathrow travel chaos considered provoking strikes last year to replace staff with cheaper labour, a leaked memo reveals. A secret briefing presented to bosses at Gate Gourmet outlined plans to trigger a dispute.It reads: "Recruit, train and security check drivers. Announce intention to trade union, provoking unofficial industrial action from staff. Dismiss current workforce. Replace with new staff."

The draft document, prepared in 2004 and now obtained by the Daily Mirror, sets out a 15-week timetable for goading employees into striking so they could be replaced with lower-paid Eastern European labour trained in secret.

The scheme bears striking similarities to events of the last week, which saw the company summarily sack hundreds of staff who had taken unofficial action on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Gate Gourmet admitted that the plan had been floated although he insisted it was never actually implemented.

He said: "Current management discarded the plan and its recommendations as entirely inappropriate and undesirable."

The memo names agencies that could find replacement staff, primarily from Poland, and suggests they could be coached in and provided with accommodation for which they would pay rent.

F*ck me, I must be psychic


David said...

I suppose it's slightly better to import foreign labour than send the actual jobs abroad- can you imagine, anyone wanting to fly from England would have to go via Poland as the whole BA staff had been outsourced... If they could, they would. But my Polish friend says the relative money they can send home from working here means they are still much better off than taking good jobs there. It seems free movement of trade and labour can bugger up economies after all.
But if you want the worst paid job of all, try estate agents. It may have improved from the 80s when I and a few friends tried it, but the money's mainly reliant on commision and the hours ridiculous.

Shahid said...

Fuckers. Sorry, I can't be any more cogent than that. They are fuckers. Ok, I'll add an adjective. Evil fuckers.

Stef said...

How about Evil Lying Fuckers?