Union pledge to fight job cuts

UNION leaders last nightpledged to fight job cuts after a leading aerospace company announced it was axing hundreds of posts at Stansted Airport.Up to 272 posts will go at FLS Aerospace's operation at the Essex airport with a possible further 149 at Manchester Airport also threatened.

UNION leaders last nightpledged to fight job cuts after a leading aerospace company announced it was axing hundreds of posts at Stansted Airport.

Up to 272 posts will go at FLS Aerospace's operation at the Essex airport with a possible further 149 at Manchester Airport also threatened.

The Danish-owned firm said current volumes of aircraft maintenance work could not justify running operations at the two airports as well as Dublin, where work will now be consolidated.

"The available work in the heavy maintenance market continues to reduce with the retirement of older aircraft and with different maintenance requirements for newer aircraft types," the firm said in a statement.


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"While many of the services offered by FLS Aerospace can add value to the business and make a reasonable return, it is clear from results over the last five years that the aircraft heavy maintenance activity in the UK has been, and continues to be, loss-making.

"The company has no alternative but to make plans to significantly downsize and rationalise activities in this area if the overall business is to survive and grow."

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Cost savings will also be needed in Dublin to turn the base into a profitable and successful operation, the firm said.

The Transport and General Workers Union (TGWU) said it would fight the migration of skilled labour from Essex to Dublin, which it said was hard to understand given plans to expand Stansted and record numbers of passengers flying from there.

John Street, a TGWU official, said: "If FLS think they can do this with the unions simply agreeing they are deluding themselves.

"When aviation is showing steady signs of growth and the future is one of growth, cutting jobs now is unbelievable. We will contest this decision with vigour."

The company maintains and repairs aircraft for a number of airlines including Ryanair and easyJet and currently employs 1,500 staff in the UK with 750 based at Stansted.

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