Unite’s reaction to the planned sale of Gatwick by BAA
LONDON (September 17, 2008) - Unite national officer Brian Boyd said, "This announcement brings uncertainty for hundreds of Unite members.
LONDON (September 17, 2008) – Unite national officer Brian Boyd said, “This announcement brings uncertainty for hundreds of Unite members. Unite will now be doing everything it can to ensure that the Gatwick workforce does not become the losers.
“All too often, in these situations the consumer is put first at the expense of the staff. Our members’ livelihoods depend on Gatwick, and we will not stand by and allow their jobs and conditions of employment to be put at risk as a result of any sale.
Unite along with representatives from the other BAA Unions will be meeting with the company today to discuss the competition commissions report and the future of the Gatwick workforce.”
Unite national officer, Steve Turner said, “It simply beggars belief that a “For Sale” sign can be hung across the country’s second largest airport. Gatwick is a core component of the national infrastructure and an essential part of the UK’s aviation sector, yet it is to be flogged off with little care for the wider social impact.
“This is devastating news to the many hundreds of professional, loyal and dedicated staff at Gatwick Airport, and it will hit passengers, too.
“At a time when the sector is being battered by the credit crunch and faces tough challenges in soaring fuel prices and new security measures, aviation needs stability, not the fire sale of a profitable, significant airport.
“BAA must reconsider this decision and have the confidence to argue the case with the competition authorities, and government cannot sit on the sidelines while our national airports are destabilized.
“This is yet another failure of regulation, but Unite will not stand by while workers pay the price with their jobs and passengers see services cut.”
Unite is concerned that BAA is attempting to pre-empt the final report of the Competition Commission which is expected to seek the break up of the airport group. Unite argues that break up will lead to higher costs and diminished services as cross subsidies end, and the dash for profits overrides the need for improved services to carriers and travelers alike.