Pilots threaten to strike over ID cards
The first wave of ID cards to be issued to British citizens has prompted airline pilots to threaten a strike rather than accept the documents.
The second Brass Balls™ award goes to the airline pilots who vote to strike.
Aviation workers have warned that proposals to make airport staff register for the cards from next year would do little to improve security. The British Airline Pilots Association (Balpa), which represents 10,000 of the 12,000 commercial pilots and flight engineers in Britain, said its members were being treated as “guinea pigs”. Jim McAuslan, Balpa’s general secretary, said the Government’s “early warning system should be flashing” over opposition to the plans.
The government doesnt have an early warning system. They are blind dumb and deaf when it comes to what actually works and what people’s concerns are. That is how they could ignore two million marchers demonstrating against an illegal immoral and unjustified attack against Iraq.
Pilots going on strike however is a different thing. These highly trained and completely indispensable people going on strike will cost the airlines millions of pounds. These pilots cannot be replaced with scabs. This action is going to hurt where the pain is felt most strongly; in the realm of money.
The Home Office insists the scheme will help airport workers improve security and streamline pass applications when staff move jobs.
They cannot demonstrate how these cards will improve security. All the people who work at airports currently are already carrying ID cards and have already been vetted. Another, state issued card cannot add any further security. If this is not the case, then they need to demonstrate how having TWO ID cards is better than having one.
Ministers will publish draft regulations on Friday to set up a trial requiring airside staff at Manchester airport and London City airport to sign up for an ID card before they can get security passes allowing them to work there. If the regulations are approved, the first ID cards will be issued at the two airports from autumn next year as part of an 18-month trial.
They should ALL go on strike and shut down the entire airport and air transport system of the UK. That would cause real economic damage and would force the government to back down.
Under the proposals, airport workers will be the first British citizens to be given ID cards, which are due to be introduced for young people from 2010.
But Mr McAuslan, whose union holds its annual conference at Heathrow later this week, said he would be consulting members on the possibility of industrial action if the Government presses ahead with the plans. “It may come to an industrial dispute,” he said. “We would want to avoid that. We would want the Government to think again about the compulsory nature of it and think again about the whole scheme. The Government has said previously that ID cards will be voluntary but the indications are that if you choose not to have a card you will not get an airside pass.”
That is a very diplomatic way of drawing a line in the sand. Bugs Bunny would have said, “Of course you know, this means war”.
The British Air Transport Association, which represents airlines including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, branded the scheme a “dubious PR initiative by the Government and one that fails to offer any real benefits”.
Thats more Wile E Coyote.
The shadow Home Secretary, Dominic Grieve, said: “Labour should take their heads out of the sand and abandon this £19bn white elephant which will do nothing to improve our security but may well make it worse.” The Tories have pledged to scrap the scheme if elected. Chris Huhne, the Lib Dem home affairs spokesman, added: “It is no surprise that pilots are up in arms since they are one of the few groups selected as guinea pigs for this benighted experiment.”
And they will be the first to be lined up and violated; fingerprinted and scanned and given a number like concentration camp cattle. It is sickening, and finally everyone is starting to feel queasy.
But a spokesman for the Identity and Passport Service said: “Identity cards will directly benefit airside workers – not just by improving personnel security, but also by speeding up pre-employment checks and increasing the efficiency of pass-issuing arrangements.”
This is twice that they have said it would increase efficiency. This is a lie. Without an ID card no time is made making a meaningless check against the NIR when you apply for a job or go and buy a bottle of wine. And as for the lie of it “improving personnel security” they have to demonstrate how people who are already vetted and who already carry ID cards are going to be ‘more secure’ if they also carry a government ID card.
*21 November 2008: Home Office issues draft rules on ID card trial at Manchester and London City airports.
*25 November: Home Office starts issuing ID cards for foreign nationals.
*March-May 2009: Regulations on trial scheme debated by Parliament.
*Autumn 2009: First airport staff to be given ID cards.
*2010: ID cards made available to young people for the first time.
*2011-12: Public invited to register for ID cards.
*2017: Vast majority of the population enrolled on ID card database.
This timetable is nonsense of course.
They no doubt had a similar timetable for the adoption of the Poll Tax…and we all know what happened with that idea.
This idea is going to die.
Every group that they try and use as guinea pigs to stress test the enrollment system are going to violently refuse to be numbered and fingerprinted like criminal cattle.
Of course, the Independent fails to ask any of the questions that a normal person would ask, like “how will this increase security”. They simply parrot the line from the Passport service and the Home Office like trained dogs.
But we expect that.