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‘A bitter blow’

Airport jobs lost from govt failure to support aviation industry
UniteLive, Wednesday, October 7th, 2020


Responding to the announcement today (October 7) that Manchester Airport is intending to make dramatic job cuts Unite, the principal aviation union, has said it is a direct consequence of the government’s ongoing failure to provide sector specific support to the aviation sector.

The job losses, which equate to the equivalent of 465 full time posts, will impact on directly employed workers at the airport including security officers, engineers, customer service staff, bus drivers and car park attendants.

Unite will immediately begin negotiating with Manchester airport and will seek to mitigate job losses, pressing the company to utilise the government’s new job support scheme to save jobs and attempt to ensure that redundancies are voluntary rather than compulsory.

“This announcement will come as a bitter blow to the hard working staff at Manchester airport,” commented Unite regional co-ordinating officer Lawrence Chapple-Gill said.

“They and their families now face a very difficult and unsettling time but Unite will support them every step of the way.

“Unite will do everything it can to reduce job losses and seek to ensure that any eventual redundancies are voluntary and not compulsory in nature.

“These job losses are an inevitable consequence of the government’s failure to provide sector specific support to the aviation industry, the sector which has been most heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Once Covid-19 is under control, confidence will return to the industry and flights will increase. It is a total failure of government to not be assisting the industry and its workforce through this crisis in order to ensure it can quickly recover when the virus abates.

“The chancellor first promised sector support in March. An aviation recovery plan was promised last month. Nothing has materialised and job losses are increasing by the day.”

Exactly a month ago the government promised to launch an aviation recovery programme this autumn but nothing has materialised and no specific assistance has been provided to the sector.

The airport, which is the third largest in the UK, currently employs in the region of 3,500 workers.

 

East Midlands airport

Meanwhile East Midlands airport workers are also facing job losses as a direct consequence of government failure to provide aviation support.

Responding to the announcement today (October 7) that East Midland’s airport is intending to make around 70 job cuts, Unite said it is a direct consequence of the government’s ongoing failure to provide sector specific support to the aviation industry.

The job losses will impact on directly employed workers at the airport including, security officers, customer service staff and car park attendants.

Unite will immediately begin negotiating with East Midlands airport and will seek to mitigate job losses, pressing the company to utilise the government’s new job support scheme to save jobs and attempt to ensure that redundancies are voluntary rather than compulsory.

“Unite will do everything it can to reduce job losses at East Midlands airport and seek to ensure that any eventual redundancies are voluntary and not compulsory in nature,” commented Unite regional officer Kevin Hepworth.

Hepworth, like Chapple-Gill believes the cuts are an inevitable consequence of the government’s failure to provide sector specific support to the aviation industry the sector which has been most heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Together with the TUC and all aviation unions, Unite is calling for the government to undertake the economic and fiscal measures needed to support the sector.

These include the extension of, and modifications to, the coronavirus job retention scheme to protect employment in the aviation sector; suspension of air passenger duty; public service obligation routes to ensure regional connectivity; business rate relief for airports (as in Scotland and Northern Ireland); and extending the period of repayment of loans to aviation companies beyond the current two year maximum.

The full list of measures can be found in Unite’s urgent summer update to its Flying into the Future’ blueprint, which was first published in May in response to the coronavirus crisis.

By Barckley Sumner and Ryan Fletcher

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