November 2013        

Willie Walsh floats again


As we go to press, word is finally out about the former Aer Lingus and British Airways boss Willie Walsh. Unlike most citizens, Wee Willie bucks the trend and continues to thrive through these depression days. Willie has now landed a most profitable nixer in the shape of chairmanship of the board of the new National Treasury Management Agency.
     The NTMA is responsible for borrowing on behalf of the exchequer and managing the national debt. It is also the State Claims Agency and manages the National Pensions Reserve Fund. Willie will be responsible for running the show.
     In October 2001 he was appointed CEO of Aer Lingus, from his then position of chief operating officer, succeeding Michael Foley, who had resigned following a harassment complaint. Walsh’s main action was eliminating two thousand jobs and reducing the number of aircraft. He reconfigured Aer Lingus by imitating Ryanair.
     From 2001 Willie was hell-bent on privatising what was left of Aer Lingus. He and his management cohorts wanted to float the company on the stock exchange, whereby they would receive substantial bonuses. This went on until the trade unions put a stop to their gallop. The then Government was eventually forced to turn down the float. Walsh and cronies resigned from the company in January 2005.
     Willie never got a chance to sign on, as he landed a job at British Airways, where he was chief executive from October 2005. He immediately launched a campaign against BA workers, culminating in his savage attacks on cabin crews. He oversaw the merger of British Airways and Iberia, forming a new holding company, International Airlines Group, in January 2011. On 24 January 2011 Willie Walsh became chief executive of the new group. He continues in that role. Now Michael Noonan is wetting himself with Willie’s new nixer, describing him as “the ideal candidate.”
     While all this is scarcely news, it does underline the Government drift to follow the dictates of the troika of IMF, ECB, and EU, to the continued detriment of the Irish people. We can expect more of the same, with an increase in repression, cut-backs, and savage attacks on workers and their families. The need for resistance is doubled when even David Begg has called into question the troika’s antics.
     Communists continue to underline the continued need for principled leadership in opposition to this betrayal. A reconquest by our people is the only solution.
     So get up off your backside and join the Communist Party of Ireland.
[MA]

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