20 Jun

Telegraph Article & Travel Day of Action

It’s fair to say that Gatwick has been through a lot over the past year. Undoubtedly the airport has been one of the hardest hit in Europe, with passenger numbers collapsing due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. With this in mind, we have been careful with our updates, waiting for an opportunity to share positive news as we hoped to see the industry recover.

As you know, preparations were made for a restart of operations in May to coincide with the lifting of the international travel ban. The company made plans and advised that all cabin crew were to be recalled from furlough. 

Unfortunately, due to the Government’s chaotic implementation of the travel traffic light system and the emergence of the new delta variant, that restart failed to materialise, and we have not seen the anticipated consumer demand for air travel return.

Many of you will have seen the concerning article published in yesterday’s Telegraph which claims that British Airways is reconsidering its position and operations at Gatwick airport. 

British Airways has declined to comment on the story. At the time of writing, it’s impossible to say with any certainty if there is any truth in the article. To date, the company has not issued any notice to the trade union nor commenced any formal consultation, which they would be legally required to do.

As things stand, the Government’s furlough scheme will be coming to an end in September. Without a meaningful restart of operations and lifting of restrictions, the industry will need sector-specific support to continue through the winter months. 

Unite has been campaigning and lobbying the Government to deliver this support and extend the furlough scheme to March next year. 

To that end, we are supporting the Travel Day of Action. On the 23rd of June, employees and businesses from across the aviation and travel sector are coming together to raise awareness of the challenges facing our industry.
 
We are calling on the UK Government to:Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk-managed way.Bring forward a package of tailored financial support, including an extension of furlough support.Organisers and supporters of the cross-industry day of action include Airlines, Airport Operators, Business Travel Association, IATA alongside Unite, GMB and BALPA.
 
There is a lobby of parliament being organised, but obviously, it is subject to restrictions and will solely take place outside. As such, this will be a focus for activists from the London airports.    

If you would like to attend, you will need to register by clicking the below link. Please be advised that spaces are limited .
Register to Attend
Specific requirements will be in place, and the following have been risk assessed to ensure all participants safety and we ask that you adhere to them if you attend: Request that all participants carry hand sanitiserParticipants not to congregateMaintain social distancing, 2m where possibleAttendees must wear face coverings where 2m distancing isn’t possibleAdvise participants to avoid travelling and arriving togetherAdvise those who deem themselves vulnerable not to attendYou can find out more by clicking the link below and other ways to get involved.
Find Out More
In the meantime, please take care of yourself and each other. For now, it’s a case of staying calm and continuing to support one and other. As your representatives, we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the future of the Gatwick base, just as we have so far, and to overcome any challenges that may arise.

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