Chris Elmore MP has urged the UK Government to do more to support workers in the civil aviation sector as the industry continues to grapple with the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
At the end of last month, news broke of 400 possible job losses among BA staff working at their sites in Llantrisant, Blackwood, and Cardiff Airport. BA has said that, at this point, these job losses are “proposals” and that they are entering into a period of consultation with workers at these sites.
Recent media reports have indicated that the national flag carrier is seeking to change the employment rights of the workers who are not made redundant in the short-term. The airline has already furloughed 22,600 of its workers via the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The firm is said to be planning to move 14,300 cabin crew alone onto new contracts, requiring them to work both long haul and short haul flights.
The British Airlines Pilots’ Union (BALPA) has reported that the new terms of these new contacts will be zero-hours style, reflecting the uncertainty facing the firm in the medium and long-term future.
Speaking during an Urgent Question in Parliament on this issue last week, Chris said the response from the UK Government to date was “just not good enough”.
Chris Elmore MP said:
“It is simply not good enough for the UK Government to say that the Department for Work and Pensions is ready to offer support to those who lose their jobs. British Airways is our national flag carrier – ministers have a duty to ensure they don’t treat their workers with the contempt they have been.
“I’ve been contacted by constituents who work at BA sites across South Wales, including in Llantrisant, Nantgarw, and Rhoose. The position they are being forced into is completely unacceptable.”
The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the aviation industry with minimal commercial flights operating over the last few months and an expected weak summer of foreign travel.
“Far too much of the UK Government’s response to this pandemic has been too slow. It’s vital that ministers take action to prevent a shockwave of job losses right up the supply chain.
“If any constituents are affected by these prospective job losses and need any assistance, please get in touch with my office by email or telephone.”
Ogmore constituents are able to get in touch with Chris by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01656 860034 and leaving an answerphone message.