Skip to main content

Future of the aviation and aerospace industry

Volume 676: debated on Wednesday 3 June 2020

I am proud of the fact that I represent a constituency with the UK’s best airport and, until recent events, a thriving aerospace sector, but those recent events have been catastrophic for the sector. It needs further Government help and it needs it now.

Of course, certain companies’ actions do not help. Willie Walsh’s actions in making almost the entire workforce redundant and rehiring just over two thirds on massively reduced terms and conditions, including pay cuts of up to 60%, is immoral, obscene and thoroughly dishonest. It should be illegal.

It was confirmed today that Rolls-Royce intends to make 700 people in Inchinnan—more than half of the highly skilled workforce—redundant. I have spoken to and corresponded with many devastated and angry workers, but even at this late stage, I urge this Government to intercede and discuss what options are open to support Rolls-Royce jobs. I urge the company to engage meaningfully with the Scottish Government, who are keen to get around the table. I plead with the Department for Transport, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Treasury to get their collective finger out and support the sector.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The petition of the residents of the constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire North,

Declares that job losses at British Airways, Rolls-Royce and across the aviation and aerospace industry will be a devastating blow to employees of these firms and will cause major economic damage to the whole of the UK; further that this will particularly affect constituencies like Paisley and Renfrewshire North, which have large aviation sectors; supports the early intervention by the Scottish Government in removing the business rates liability for one year and urges the UK Government to follow suit; and welcomes the 1,167 signatories to the related petition from Gavin Newlands on the aviation industry.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to secure a sustainable future for the aviation industry, to ensure that urgent discussions take place between relevant ministers and these firms to protect the maximum number of jobs, and to ensure that workers play a full role in the decisions being taken about this industry.

And the petitioners remain, etc.]