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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2017

Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

Monarch airlines, photo RHL Images/CC

Monarch airlines, photo RHL Images/CC   (Click to enlarge)

On its 50th anniversary, UK-based Monarch airline has nosedived into administration leaving hundreds of thousands of passengers stuck abroad and many more losing future flights without compensation.

Some 2,100 workers will lose their jobs.

Bringing back stranded passengers - 'the biggest ever peacetime repatriation' - will cost 60 million, partly funded through a passenger levy.

Budget airline Ryanair (run by anti-union boss Michael O'Leary) - which spectacularly screwed up its pilot rosters and was slammed by the authorities for holding back compensation to passengers whose flights were cancelled - is eyeing up redundant Monarch pilots to plug its staffing gaps.

Struggling Monarch was taken over in 2014 by venture capital firm Greybull Capital which specializes in acquiring 'distressed companies'. The new owners demanded employees accept hundreds of job losses, a 30% pay cut and inferior working contracts to secure the airline's future - a promise which turned out to be false.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

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