Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, which represents thousands of workers at Heathrow airport and throughout the airline industry, is urging the government to take immediate action to ensure that the planned construction of a third runway at Heathrow goes ahead, while ensuring the environment is fully protected.

Unite made its call after the appeal court ruled today (Thursday 27 February) that the proposed development should not proceed in its present form.

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: “Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk if the government does not take immediate action to ensure that Heathrow expansion goes ahead. However, Unite is adamant this must not be at the expense of the environment.

“The government must bring forward new proposals that are in line with the UK’s environmental commitments.

“Urgent action is needed to tackle the climate emergency that we all face but that must be through a just transition which does not demonise particular sectors or industries.

“That is why it is essential that Heathrow becomes entirely carbon neutral and that no additional aircraft take off until those targets are fully met.

“Workers across the UK need to urgently know whether the prime minister is prepared to support the £30 billion of private investment that has already been secured for the expansion plans.

“This is a major test for the government about whether it is serious about transforming the UK’s infrastructure and building a highly skilled, environmentally sustainable economy, capable of dealing with the challenges of the future.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: barckley.sumner@unitetheunion.org

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