Stansted job losses: Union blasts ‘total failure’ of government to help airline industry

Most of the proposed job cuts will affect staff who work inside London Stansteds terminal building Picture: STANSTED...

Most of the proposed job cuts will affect staff who work inside London Stansteds terminal building Picture: STANSTED AIRPORT - Credit: Archant

A workers’ union has blamed a lack of government support for causing nearly 400 proposed job losses at Stansted Airport.

Manchester Airport Group (MAG), which owns Stansted, has proposed cutting 376 jobs at the airport as part of nearly 900 planned redundancies across the group.

MORE: Nearly 400 job cuts proposed at Stansted Airport

MAG says the proposed job losses follow a 90% reduction in demand for travel through its airports since March, calling it the “toughest summer our industry has ever seen”.

It has entered into a 45-day consultation period with staff and unions, with most of the job losses coming from roles within the terminal building.

However Mark Barter, regional officer for the Unite union, said: “Unite will do everything it can to reduce job losses at Stansted airport and seek to ensure that any eventual redundancies are voluntary and not compulsory in nature.

“These job losses are an inevitable consequence of the government’s failure to provide sector specific support to the aviation industry, the sector which has been most heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Once Covid-19 is under control, confidence will return to the industry and flights will increase.

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“It is a total failure of government to not be assisting the industry and its workforce through this crisis in order to ensure it can quickly recover when the virus abates.

“The chancellor first promised sector support in March. An aviation recovery plan was promised last month. Nothing has materialised and job losses are increasing by the day.”

Charlie Cornish, MAG chief executive, said following the job losses announcement this week: “With uncertainty about when a vaccine will be widely available, we need to be realistic about when demand is likely to recover.

“The end of the Job Retention Scheme means that we have to consider the number of roles that we can sustain at our airports.

“I want to thank everyone across MAG for the dedication they have shown through the toughest summer our industry has ever seen.

“MAG and other UK airports remain fundamentally strong businesses that will play an important role in driving the country’s recovery, but the specific and short-term pressures of the pandemic are exceptional and particularly challenging for our sector.

“We will continue to work to protect as many jobs as possible, maintain dialogue with our trade unions, and continue to make the case to government for the direct support that UK aviation needs.”