Unite, the UK’s premier aviation union, has signed a groundbreaking agreement to preserve jobs and protect wages at Manchester Airport Group (MAG), as the industry seeks to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Jobs preserved

The 12 month deal covers hundreds of workers at Manchester, Stansted and East Midlands Airports. Under the deal MAG has agreed that there will be no compulsory redundancies while the government’s job retention scheme remains in operation (currently scheduled to end on 30 September 2021).

This has resulted in planned redundancies including 138 at Manchester Airport, being held in abeyance and Unite will seek to further mitigate those numbers in the coming months.

Pay protected

Under the agreement, workers who are not required for work will receive 80 per cent of their full pay (which is applicable regardless of any government support through JRS). Workers who are in work for up to 85 per cent of their normal hours will receive 90 per cent of their full pay and those who are working for 85 per cent and above of their normal hours will receive 100 per cent of their pay.

A fair share arrangement has also been established to ensure that work is shared out on an equitable footing and an oversight committee has been installed to ensure that the agreement is effectively implemented.

Unite members accepted the agreement with an 85 yes vote in favour and members of Prospect and Unison have also accepted the agreement.

Member support 

Unite regional co-ordinating officer Lawrence Chapple-Gill said: “This is an excellent deal which preserves jobs and protects workers’ incomes.

 “Given the incredible challenges being faced in the aviation sector, members have understood and accepted that this agreement was necessary in order to preserve employment in the long-term.

Benchmark agreement

Unite national officer Oliver Richardson said: “This deal should act as a benchmark agreement for the sector.

 “This demonstrates what can be achieved when negotiations focus on preserving jobs and ensuring that the sector is able to quickly recover once Covid-19 is fully under control.

 “Unite calls on other companies in the sector to agree to similar job saving agreements., which has been achieved despite the absence of a clear plan from government for the restart of the sector.

“Sector specific support is still needed to protect the aviation industry and ensure that it can quickly recover in the future.

“Of most pressing concern is the need for the government to extend the JRS for aviation beyond September to avoid thousands of job losses just as the industry should be getting back on its feet.”


Notes to editors:

During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

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.