Manchester airport job losses a direct consequence of government failure to provide aviation support
- Wednesday 7 October 2020
Responding to the announcement today (October 7) that Manchester Airport is intending to make dramatic job cuts Unite, the principal aviation union, has said it is a direct consequence of the government’s ongoing failure to provide sector specific support to the aviation sector.
Heavy job losses
The job losses, which equate to the equivalent of 465 full time posts, will impact on directly employed workers at the airport including: security officers, engineers, customer service staff, bus drivers and car park attendants.
Unite will immediately begin negotiating with Manchester airport and will seek to mitigate job losses, pressing the company to utilise the government’s new job support scheme to save jobs and attempt to ensure that redundancies are voluntary rather than compulsory.
Unite regional co-ordinating officer Lawrence Chapple-Gill said: “This announcement will come as a bitter blow to the hard working staff at Manchester airport.
“They and their families now face a very difficult and unsettling time but Unite will support them every step of the way.
“Unite will do everything it can to reduce job losses and seek to ensure that any eventual redundancies are voluntary and not compulsory in nature.
“These job losses are an inevitable consequence of the government’s failure to provide sector specific support to the aviation industry, the sector which has been most heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Once Covid-19 is under control, confidence will return to the industry and flights will increase. It is a total failure of government to not be assisting the industry and its workforce through this crisis in order to ensure it can quickly recover when the virus abates.
“The chancellor first promised sector support in March. An aviation recovery plan was promised last month. Nothing has materialised and job losses are increasing by the day.”
The airport, which is the third largest in the UK, currently employs in the region of 3,500 workers.
Join aviation plan
Together with the TUC and all aviation unions, Unite is calling for the government to undertake the economic and fiscal measures needed to support the sector, including:
- The extension of, and modifications to, the coronavirus job retention scheme to protect employment in the aviation sector
- Suspension of air passenger duty
- Public service obligation routes to ensure regional connectivity
- Business rate relief for airports (as in Scotland and Northern Ireland)
- Extending the period of repayment of loans to aviation companies beyond the current two year maximum.
Notes to editors:
For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.
Email: [email protected]
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.