YOU are now reporting yet more family vacations disrupted or ruined by flight cancellations (“‘Carnage’ as 150 flights axed and passengers must wait for hours”, The Herald, June 2). I sympathize with parents who lined up at airports for hours with excited children, only to have their flights canceled at the last minute and faced with a repeat performance at unsocial hours the next day.
Having worked in the aviation industry for 30 years, I found it hard to resist throwing things on the TV when another industry boss blames Covid, the government or someone, anyone, d ‘other. They say they had to “let people go” during the pandemic. Oh no, they didn’t: they laid off thousands of loyal, long-serving employees and cut the wages, terms and conditions of those they kept. Now they are surprised that their former employees are not coming back to work with lower contracts. Unlike their bosses, of course; for example British Airways’ parent company IAG, which wants to raise the bonus it pays its CEO, Luis Gallego, from 100% to 150% of his £656,000 salary.
It’s no wonder BA ground staff are starting to vote next week for a wage action. If they go on strike, it will likely be July, normally the busiest month for summer getaways.
Having a ground pay, BA can’t even find enough captains to fly its planes at Gatwick anymore. He is so desperate that he has hatched a plan to promote first officer co-pilots from sister Spanish airline Iberia, who will take a short course and then be made BA captains. BA could easily recruit UK-based pilots, including some of the 250 it has made redundant, if it offered the market rate for the job, but it has slashed wages so much that the package on offer is unattractive . This is the same tactic used by P&O, and it adds credence to the claim that overseas recruitment is being used by employers to drive down the wages of UK employees.
Frontline workers across the UK are tired of giving their all to keep the operation going while their bosses attack their pay and working conditions and hand themselves big bonuses for it. It’s going to be a tough summer.
Doug Maughan, Dunblane.
IT’S TIME TO START THE DIVIDE IN THE UK
The massive Grangemouth Oil Refinery now relies on ‘fractured’ gas shipped in from America to keep it running, which is crazy when we have the potential of fractured gas on our doorstep.
Gas fracking, when done responsibly, is reliable and safe and has transformed America’s energy self-sufficiency, as it could well in the UK.
We are now facing dramatic global changes in prices and supply chain sources and we need to consider all options to keep energy prices under some control. Fracking should be seen as part of this energy policy.
Dennis Forbes Grattan, Aberdeen.
DOUBLE FAULTS IN TENNIS
GONE are the days when you could sit back and watch quietly and enjoy a great tennis match. The Roland-Garros tournament is a perfect example.
We have the players who growl, yell and scream at the umpire and linesmen, not to mention them throwing tantrums and breaking their racquets.
Then we have the crowd, who shout and shout between points and continue to do so even when asked to stop. These foolish individuals have no thought for others trying to take advantage of the game and it becomes more difficult for the referee to referee not only the players but also the so-called fans.
These people must be ejected to allow normal play to resume.
Let’s get back to watching this great game with the players and spectators behaving as they should.
Neil Stewart, Balfron.
RE recent correspondence on biased grammar (Letters, June 1 & 2): My favorite hate is when an “educated” speaker uses the word “mitigate” as if it acts like the word “militate”.
“Mitigate” takes a direct object where “militate” is followed by the preposition “against”.
When (and it happens regularly these days) such luminaries use “dim”, they employ the schema reserved for “militant”. Whenever I hear this particular solecism, it acts on my mind in the same way that the screeching of fresh chalk on a blackboard makes me cringe.
There are other examples that annoy me as well but they can wait another day as they represent “mair o’ awful and awful that even your name is illegal”.
Denis Bruce, Bishopbriggs.
WHY QUEEN STREET IS UNIQUE
YOUR photo of Glasgow’s Queen Street station (“Queen Street station, 1965”, The Herald, June 2) sparked a question: Is Queen Street today the only mainline railway station in Scotland, UK, in Europe and maybe the world, where you can’t get a newspaper, a coffee, a snack or even a pack of tissues? I suspect the answer is yes.
Simon Paterson, Glasgow.
I LOVE the sales pitch from NS&I’s Retail Sales Manager who said “the sense of anticipation and expectation that swept across the country in 1957 is still with our customers today as they eagerly await the results each month” (“65 years since first premium bond gain”, The Herald, June 1).
With a £1 bond dated 1957, and others of more recent vintage, am I the only one not deleting my exhalations with each monthly draw?
R Russell Smith, Largs.
GONE WITH THE BIND
JOHN Gilligan (Letters, June 2) praises the Odeon in Kilmarnock for its fast food.
Isn’t it possible to watch two and a half hours of film without eating?
The smell of fast food and the noise of people eating it kept me away from movies for many years. On top of that, there are the people chatting throughout, some playing with their smartphones and others trotting the aisles to replenish their dwindling stocks of crunchy snacks and tubs of soft, sugary drinks. If the current trend continues, and I expect it will, I’m unlikely to ever return.
David Clark, Tarbolton.