Britain’s largest union, Unite urged the government to ‘fast forward’ the construction of a third runway at Heathrow to boost the economy and secure decent jobs after ministers gave their backing to the project today (Tuesday 25 October).
Expressing disappointment that a final decision would not be taken for another year, Unite warned that further delays would ‘gift’ Heathrow’s European competitors a commercial advantage and postpone the economic boost and jobs that Heathrow expansion would bring.
Unite is the biggest union at Heathrow representing over 34,000 workers who ease the passage of people and goods from one of the world’s busiest airports to destinations as far afield as Anchorage and Sydney.
Commenting, 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 tens of thousands of other 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 national officer Oliver Richardson said: "Finally the government has made the right choice in backing the Airport Commission's decision to expand Heathrow. Now it is critical for the wider economy that this additional capacity is delivered, and done so in a timely fashion.
"The UK is a world leader in aviation and aerospace and this decision will help in continuing to create and maintain quality jobs as well as a diverse skills base."
For further information please contact Unite head of media and campaigns Alex Flynn on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869.
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.