Baggage and airport logistics company Menzies is being urged to halt planned redundancies at Luton airport.

In September, Menzies announced it would make 176 workers redundant as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lack of sector specific support from the government.

Unite negotiations

Following extensive negotiations with Unite, the UK’s principal aviation union, and the government’s belated announcement that it was extending the job retention scheme until March next year, the number of redundancies has been reduced to 45 job losses.

However Unite is hopeful that with the positive news that pharmaceutical company Pfizer has developed a vaccine that is 90 per cent effective against Covid-19, that the aviation industry can recover more quickly than anticipated and these redundancies should be avoided.

Rethink urged

Unite regional organiser Jeff Hodge said: “Unite is urging Menzies to rethink the need for the remaining redundancies.

“With the furlough scheme having been extended until spring next year and with fresh hopes for an effective vaccine, there is a real possibility of the aviation industry being able to recover more quickly than anticipated.

“Given the emerging information it would be premature to make these workers redundant.

“The pandemic and the reduction of work at the airport has had a terrible effect on Luton and the local economy. It is imperative that if jobs can be saved, that occurs in order to avoid the misery of unemployment.

“Unite remains committed to working with Menzies to examine all options to avoid the need for these redundancies.”

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.