Vote of no confidence in easyJet executive
Unite begins ballot of no confidence in easyJet COO Peter Bellew
Unite , which represents thousands of workers at easyJet, has begun a ballot of no confidence in the company’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew.
The ballot of Unite’s membership at easyJet is in direct response to Mr Bellew’s performance during the Covid-19 pandemic. The company is proposing to make around 1,290 cabin crew redundant as well as close its regional bases in Newcastle, Stansted and Southend.
Unite’s members are angry that while their jobs and incomes at the airline are under attack, easyJet paid £174m in dividends to shareholders at the start of the Covid-19 crisis.
The company has also secured a government funded load of £600 million yet is pressing on with a large-scale cuts and closure programme.
In addition to the proposed job losses and base closures, Unite members are angry at how Mr Bellew, who has recently arrived at easyJet from Ryanair has misjudged the start of the Covid-19 crisis by criticising the “hype going on around the virus” and encouraging “business as usual”.
They has also criticised how he has attempted a ‘smash and grab’ of cabin crew pay, terms and conditions and has tried to bypass easyJet’s recognised trade unions Unite and pilots’ union BALPA, by proposing “Coronavirus Co-operation agreements” directly to staff, who categorically rejected them.
Regional officer for Unite Lindsey Olliver said,“Initiating a vote of no confidence in a company’s chief operating officer is not something Unite undertakes lightly but the strength of feeling among our members is overwhelming.
“Our members are angered by the scope of the company’s proposals and the far-reaching impact this will have, not just on the individuals affected but on local communities whose livelihoods rely on work created by easyJet’s continued operation in and out of the bases earmarked for closure,” she added.
“There is deep concern that the base closures have been predetermined.
“Clearly the responsibility for the future size and scope of the operation fall within Peter Bellew’s remit and these decisions appear to be driven by him.”
By Barckley Sumner