Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has expressed fury and disbelief at the decision by the owners of Manston Airport to press ahead with closure despite a viable offer to buy the airport.
140 jobs at the airport in Kent will be lost when the airport closes on May 15. The jobs were placed at risk in March following the announcement that Manston Airport could close. Since then there have been discussions with potential buyers. A US firm’s formal written offer to buy the airport for £5 million was rejected yesterday.
Unite regional officer Ian McCoulough said:“We are shocked and very angry. We can’t believe that the owners of Manston have rejected a viable offer to buy the airport which would leave the owners in profit. We believe Manston should continue as a viable airport. It is vital to the local economy in terms of employment and economic growth in Kent.
“Unite has lodged a formal grievance with the owners over what we believe is a complete failure to consult with the unions over the bizarre decision. We will continue to fight to give Manston a future.
The airport, which employs 140 people, was bought by Ann Gloag, who co-founded the Stagecoach Group, for £1 in October last year. The origins of the airport stretch back to the First World War and during the Second World War, Manston was heavily bombed during the Battle of Britain.
For further information please contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
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Notes to editors
• Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.