As part of Unite’s new aviation campaign, a series of demos were held on Saturday (August 8) and today (August 10) at airports across the country, where workers in the industry, Unite members, demanded the government take action to support the sector.
Below are some of the photo highlights at one of the biggest protests today (August 10) at Heathrow Airport in London.
Unite has said that aviation workers are ‘desperate’ for Rishi Sunak to keep a pledge he made in March to support the sector. This would allow it to weather the temporary impacts of Covid-19 and protect the quarter of a million jobs it supports directly, as well as the more than one million it supports indirectly.
The protest at Heathrow Airport was especially poignant as their employer, Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) has followed the lead of British Airways in its appalling behaviour towards its loyal workforce.
Unite’s officials report that HAL has threatened to issue section 188 notices, which would result in staff being fired and re-hired on the inferior contracts, in an effort to `bounce’ the workforce into hasty acceptance of the new contracts.
Some workers are set to lose over £8,000 a year on basic pay a cut of 24 per cent and all workers will receive a cut to pay and allowances. Unite fears that many members will be unable to maintain their mortgages as a result.
Among those giving speeches at today’s protest was Labour MP for Ealing North, James Murray (pictured above) as did Unite regional secretary for London and Eastern Pat Kavanagh (pictured below).
Unite has vowed that its members would consider every avenue at their disposal to defend their jobs and pay, terms and conditions – including industrial action.
While dozens of Heathrow workers and their supporters turned out at today’s demo, others took to social media to show their support, including former shadow chancellor and Labour MP John McDonnell.
Full support to members of @unitetheunion protesting today at Heathrow against despicable behaviour of British Airways cutting jobs, wages & conditions of its loyal workforce. I can remember when my constituents felt proud to work for BA, our national flag carrier. Not any more. https://t.co/NgaTgECe7o
— John McDonnell MP (@johnmcdonnellMP) August 10, 2020
You can read our full story here to find out more about Heathrow Airport Limited (HAL) and why Unite is fighting back against their proposals.
Compiled by Hajera Blagg
Pics by Mark Thomas