Unite, the UK’s principal aviation union, has described Birmingham Airport’s decision to consider 250 jobs losses as “premature”.

Major employer

The airport currently directly employs around 900 staff and like the rest of the aviation sector it has been very heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Birmingham Airport generates £1.1 billion per annum for the region’s economy and helps support more than 25,000 jobs, with around 8,000 people either employed at the airport or nearby in airport related activities. As Unite research has shown, the wellbeing of the airport is vital to the region’s economic success.

Premature decision

Unite regional officer Peter Coulson said: “Unite will begin formal consultations with Birmingham Airport early next week.

 “The challenges being faced at Birmingham Airport demonstrate why it is imperative the government hesitates no longer in providing specific support for aviation. It is the sector which has been most severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 “While Unite understands the unprecedented challenges facing the aviation sector as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, this decision is premature.

 “The government’s job retention scheme continues until October and with air bridges potentially opening the situation in the autumn may look very different.

 “Our call to the airport is put the redundancy programme on hold."

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.

ENDS

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: 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.