Unite for Heathrow

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Be bold and build - Unite has urged the government to fast forward the construction of a third runway at Heathrow to boost the economy and secure decent jobs after ministers finally gave the green light to the project. (Tuesday 25 October)

Responding to the news,Unite London and Eastern regional secretary, Peter Kavanagh said: “The government’s approval for a third runway at Heathrow is welcome news, but it needs to fast forward the final decision and construction of the project.

 “With every day that passes rival airports like Frankfurt and Charles de Gaulle in Paris rub their hands at the prospect of gaining a competitive advantage. 

“We cannot have a never-ending holding pattern of inaction, which postpones the economic boost and jobs a third runway would bring to the UK economy at a time when we should be demonstrating that Britain is open for business.

“Heathrow workers and the tens of thousands workers stand ready to build and deliver the new runway and trust that government ministers will put the national interest ahead of internal Tory politics.”

Unite is backing Heathrow expansion for the jobs, economic prosperity, investment and 10,000 apprenticeships that a third runway will bring.

The Airports Commission has already recommended that expansion should take place at Heathrow. Now we need the government to fast forward the construction of a third runway to deliver for our members and the whole of the UK economy.

YOU can help by pledging your support for Heathrow below -join our call for good jobs, a stronger economy and a better future for all.

After six years of Tory austerity, Heathrow expansion is critical to the UK's future economic prosperity, adding an extra £211bn to the UK economy - we really can't afford to turn our backs on this. 

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Unite’s five reasons for backing Heathrow 

1. Jobs – a new third runway will create 70,000 new jobs by 2050 – nearly doubling the size of the current workforce. Heathrow currently employs 76,000 people within the airport boundary – (the same number as the population of Guildford) and a further 38,000 in airport related jobs. Unite members and their families will benefit hugely from this employment. 

2. Big economic boost – a new third runway will deliver substantially greater economic benefits, boosting the UK economy by up to £211 billion. Not only is this great news for the country as a whole, Unite members will share in the economic prosperity that a major investment project of this scale brings.

3. Opportunities for young people- a third runway will see 10,000 new apprenticeships created by 2030. Giving young people the skills and training they need to succeed. When added to the jobs being created by the expansion, there is the real potential to end youth unemployment in the areas surrounding Heathrow. 

4. Benefits for all of UK - The benefits of Heathrow expansion will be felt by Unite members in every corner of the country, not just in the South East of England. Over 180,000 new jobs will be created across the UK.  Jobs of all kinds and with different skills. All providing opportunities for working people. Regional airports, where many Unite members work, will benefit from an increase in the services they operate to Heathrow. This means more passengers and goods being able to connect with the rest of the world.  

5. A world-beating workforce – Investing in a first class workforce and building the infrastructure we need to compete at a global level is key to maintaining UK’s position as a world leader in aviation. Unite is the largest organisation in the civil aviation industry and will help lead the way. A new runway at Heathrow will stop the threat of jobs and businesses leaving the UK as airlines use rival foreign hub airports with more capacity.


Unite is backing Heathrow expansion because we believe it is the best option to protect our members’ futures, along with the 130,000 existing jobs that rely on the airport and the 70,00 new jobs and 10,000 apprenticeships for young people that it will create. For the investment and economic prosperity that it will bring to every part of the UK. Please sign up now to back Heathrow and help us secure a better and more prosperous future for our members and all of the UK. Sign up and you’ll receive updates on the latest campaign news and events.