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Union pledges to fight job losses and pay cuts for ground staff at Stansted Airport

A union has vowed to "use all means at its disposal" to challenge proposed job losses and pay cuts at Stansted Airport.

According to Unite, contractor ABM is intending to make 200 workers redundant and remaining staff will be expected to accept a 15% reduction in wages.

The company undertakes baggage handling and check-in procedures for Stansted's biggest airline, Ryanair.

Ryanair plane (35755280)
Ryanair plane (35755280)

Unite says ABM's proposals would result in just under one in four of the workers on the contract losing their jobs. The union has already called for Government loans to support airports and the aviation industry.

Regional officer Mark Barter said: "ABM's proposals are a bitter blow to hard-working loyal staff.

"Unite does not believe that these proposals are lawful or in compliance with the Government's job retention scheme.

"Unite will be working hard to prevent the proposed job losses and totally unrealistic pay cuts. ABM is expecting remaining staff to do more while paying them less.

"Unite is considering all appropriate industrial and legal avenues to safeguard its members' livelihoods.

"This is a clear example of employers jumping the gun and demonstrates why it is critical that the Government stops dithering and announces a comprehensive package for the entire aviation sector to safeguard jobs and protect companies coping with the Covid-19 pandemic.

"A further delay in such a package will have a severe impact on the economy surrounding Stansted, which is heavily reliant on the airport's success for its prosperity."

Antony Marke, group managing director at ABM Aviation, responded: “Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on our people, business and our industry, with flight schedules expected to remain at a significantly reduced rate for many months to come.

"This decision with regards to Blue Handling roles has not been taken lightly and we do not underestimate the potential impact it has on affected individuals. However, we are doing what is necessary to protect the future of our business and as many jobs as possible."

The company confirmed 195 ABM Aviation roles at Blue Handling were at potential risk of redundancy, including at all levels of management, and that any wage cuts would apply across the board.

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