Manston bosses slated over failure to enter into ‘mean...

Manston bosses slated over failure to enter into ‘meaningful’ talks to save airport

13 May 2014

Workers at Manston Airport, due to close on Thursday (15 May), will be taking out grievances over the failure of the management to enter into ‘meaningful’ consultations to save the Kent airport.

Unite, the largest union in the country which represents about half of the 140-strong workforce, said that the grievances will centre on the failure of the management to fully explore the £5 million offer made by American firm RiverOak Investment Corporation, based in Connecticut, to purchase the site.

Unite regional officer Ian McCoulough said: “We had our final consultation meeting with the management of Kent Airport Ltd today (Tuesday 13 May) who were unable to give a coherent reason why the parent company, Manston Skyport Ltd, had rejected the offer.

“We will be taking legal advice to support our members in taking out grievances against the company for its abject failure to enter into meaningful talks with Unite to save the airport and the jobs of the workforce.

“The closure of the airport could also adversely affect up to 500 more jobs in the wider supply chain. 

“We understand that RiverOak may be making an improved offer today. If this is not accepted, the airport will close on Thursday which will be a heavy blow for the staff and a sad day for Kent.

“We believe Manston should continue as a viable airport. It is vital to the local economy in terms of employment and economic growth in the county.”

The airport 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 Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940 

  • 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.