Campaigners and easyJet workers will hold a protest tomorrow (Friday 21 August) at Newcastle airport following this week’s announcement that the company is closing its base at the airport.

New banner

The protesters will be displaying a new banner which reads “Easy Option Taken” in reaction to the company’s announcement this week confirming the closure of its bases at Newcastle, Southend and Stansted, with flights ceasing from Tuesday 1 September.

When Friday 21 August at 10:30.

Where: Newcastle International Airport, Woolsington, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE13 8BZ.

Cabin crew job losses

easyJet’s decision to close its base at Newcastle will result in the loss of 105 cabin crew jobs, with pilots and engineers also being made redundant as a result of this decision.

Unite regional officer Lindsey Olliver said: “This was an extremely disappointing announcement by easyJet. These job losses will bring hardship and misery to cabin crew and local communities.

 “It is also a cruel blow for passengers of Newcastle airport, which is vital for regional connectivity.

 “The loyal and dedicated workers at easyJet are the innocent victims of easyJet’s desire to make swingeing cuts and the government’s failure to provide sector specific support to the aviation sector.

 “The chancellor promised sector support for aviation in March and that still has not been delivered.

 “As a minimum, a form of the job retention scheme must be retained to protect sectors such as aviation, which have been most affected by the pandemic.

 “If the government fails to act then an ever growing number of aviation workers face needlessly losing their jobs.”

Shareholder payout

Despite the dramatic reduction in passengers as a result of the pandemic, easyJet still went ahead with a dividend payment of £174 million to shareholders.

Management failings

In addition to the job losses and base closures, Unite members are angry at how easyJet’s Chief Operating Officer Peter Bellew, has managed the airline including:

  • Misjudging the start of the Covid-19 crisis by criticising the “hype going on around the virus” and encouraging “business as usual”.
  • Attempting a ‘smash and grab’ of cabin crew pay, terms and conditions.
  • Trying to bypass easyJet’s recognised trade unions Unite and pilots' union BALPA, by proposing “coronavirus co-operation agreements” directly to staff, who categorically rejected them. 

ENDS

Notes to editors:

easyJet base closures `a kick in the teeth' for employees, passengers and vital regional airports

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.

 

Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.