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Source: London Assembly

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on the livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers at London’s airports and on their communities.

 

During August, usually one of the busiest months for foreign travel, passenger numbers at Heathrow Airport fell by 80%.

The London Assembly has today agreed for the Chair of the London Assembly to write to the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, asking him to lay out his long-term plan for protecting airport jobs and this industry going forward.

Dr Onkar Sahota AM, who proposed the motion said:

“As we enter a second lockdown, the livelihoods of thousands of Londoners who work at our airports have been placed at further risk.

 

“The aviation industry is continuing to face huge financial and operational challenges, but amidst this, there must be a long-term plan in place to protect its workers.

 

“I am standing alongside the unions in their campaign against the unacceptable plans laid out by Heathrow Airport bosses to fire thousands of staff and rehire them under worse pay and contractual terms.

 

“The Chancellor can also step-in here to lift some of the pressure and uncertainty by delivering a targeted and flexible twelve-month extension of the furlough scheme for workers in the aviation sector.”

The full text of the motion is:

“This Assembly is deeply concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on the livelihoods of tens of thousands of workers at London’s airports and on their communities, and the knock-on effects this will have on the London economy. This Assembly notes that it has been a deeply difficult time for the airline industry and that it is vital, going forward, that there is a real plan to protect jobs. This Assembly further notes that, following the Chancellor’s announcement last month of the creation of the Job Support Scheme, the unions have called on Heathrow Airport Limited to halt its ‘brutal’ plans to fire and re-hire thousands of workers.

 

This Assembly agrees for the Chair of the Assembly to write to John Holland-Kaye, Chief Executive Officer of Heathrow Airport, calling on him to withdraw the section 188 notices that have been issued to workers, and to ensure that there are no changes to those workers’ pay and terms and conditions.

 

The Assembly also calls on the Mayor of London to write to Mr Holland-Kaye to urge him to do everything in his power to protect jobs. This Assembly also agrees for the Chair of the London Assembly to write to the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, asking him to lay out his long term plan for protecting these jobs and this industry going forward, and calling on him to extend the 80% furlough scheme for 12 months for workers in the aviation industry, with an option to ‘taper’ where needed.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom