Stansted job losses and pay cuts, unacceptable and will be challenged

Unite, the UK’s most influential union, has vowed to “use all means at its disposal” to challenge proposed job losses and pay cuts announced by contractor ABM at Stansted airport.

Ryanair contract

The company undertakes baggage handling and check in procedures for Ryanair at the airport. It is intending to make 200 workers redundant, with remaining staff being expected to accept a 15 per cent pay cut.

ABM’s proposals would currently result in just under one in four of the workers on the contract losing their jobs.

Bitter blow

Unite regional officer Mark Barter said: “ABM’s proposals are a bitter blow to hard working loyal staff.

“Unite does not believe that these proposals are lawful or in compliance with the government’s job retention scheme.

“Unite will be working hard to prevent the proposed job losses and totally unrealistic pay cuts. ABM is expecting remaining staff to do more while paying them less.

“Unite is considering all appropriate industrial and legal avenues to safeguard its members’ livelihoods.

“This is a clear example of employers jumping the gun and demonstrates why it is critical that the government stops dithering and it announces a comprehensive package for the entire aviation sector to safeguard jobs and protect companies coping with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“A further delay in such a package will have a severe impact on the economy surrounding Stansted, which is heavily reliant on the airport’s success for its prosperity.”

Government action needed

Last week Unite issued new research warning that without a bespoke support package for the aviation (one of the sectors most severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic) tens of thousands of jobs could be lost. This would have a devastating effect on the economy in the area surrounding Stansted as the airport is the biggest employer in Eastern England.

Unite blueprint for industry

Unite has produced a blueprint of how the government should intervene across the entire aviation sector including airlines and airports to protect the jobs and conditions of workers. Such loans would come with strict strings attached regarding executive pay, corporate governance and requiring stringent environmental standards to be adopted to radically reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.

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