Furlough pay grab outrage

London City airport facing legal action over broken pledge

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Unite has today (June 25) warned London City airport that it will take legal action on behalf of members – unless the company keeps its promises regarding workers’ pay.


At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic London City Airport temporarily closed its doors and the vast majority of its workforce were furloughed.


Workers were informed in writing that while they were on furlough they would receive 100 per cent of their pay – but when they began to be paid it became apparent that they were only receiving 100 per cent of their basic pay.


This has meant that part-time workers are losing between £600–£900 a month, and full-time workers up to £2,000 a month.


“London City Airport committed to paying its workers 100 per cent while they were on furlough,” commented Unite regional officer, Mercedes Sanchez.


“It is now guilty of trying to move the goalposts and using sleight of hand to reduce employees’ earnings. Suggestions that overtime pay cannot be included under the government’s job retention scheme are simply untrue.


“Workers are thousands of pounds out of pocket and being pushed into debt and despair while their employer pockets a big chunk of their earnings,” she said.


The workers have attempted to raise the matter directly with London City Airport but have been rebuffed. 


Unite is campaigning for formal recognition at the airport while providing legal support and representation to those affected by these wage underpayments.


The workers are now raising formal grievances and Unite, is preparing to take employment tribunal cases in support of members.


“This matter could and should be resolved via negotiation but City Airport has refused to meet with the union,” added Sanchez.


“If City Airport refuses to resolve the matter then Unite will have no option but to take the company to an employment tribunal to defend our members from this wage raid.”


By Barckley Sumner 

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