Skip to main content

Protection of workers in the airline industry

Volume 677: debated on Tuesday 16 June 2020

Tens—probably hundreds—of thousands of jobs are under threat in aviation. That might not be the case if the Government were to keep their own promise or follow international examples of sector support. Indeed, I have heard tonight that 310 jobs at Menzies Aviation are under threat—160 of them at Glasgow airport in my constituency. This Government have a funny way of showing support. On Sunday a Home Office source said:

“It is no surprise that the airline industry are focusing on their bottom line over public safety. The British public already have a dim view of the aviation sector but putting profit over people's lives is a new low even for them.”

I think it is safe to say that the aviation sector is not feeling the love right now.

One part of the aviation sector that is absolutely not feeling the love from anyone is British Airways. Its horrendous firing and rehiring plans for tens of thousands of loyal workers drove me to present the Employment (Dismissal and Re-employment) Bill to protect all workers from facing these horrendous practices. Incidentally, that Bill has had support from every party in this House, and I ask the Government to adopt it.

The petition states:

The Petition of the residents of the constituency of Paisley and Renfrewshire North,

Declares that many workers in the airline industry are currently under threat of being dismissed from their posts and then being rehired on lesser terms and conditions and salary; notes that most other European countries have legislation in place to prevent such mistreatment and to protect workers from management abuse and threats, benefitting both employees and the wider economy; notes the volume of correspondence being received by Members’ offices regarding reports of this practice at British Airways; and notes that the Employment (Dismissal and Re-Employment) Bill, which aims to protect workers from management abuse, has already been presented in the House.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to bring forward legislation to prevent firing and re-hiring practices and protect workers from management abuse.

And the petitioners remain etc.