Prospect is working flat out to support its members in the aviation industry.
As well as dealing with employers, the union has been engaging directly with the Department for Transport and separately with the Treasury to protect jobs and explore how the government can support the industry.
The key issues Prospect has been raising include:
- The need for clarity about service delivery expectations over the next few months to enable organisations to plan and support flights that continue – with stakeholder engagement.
- Clarity about support for airports and recognition of their importance to society beyond commercial passenger numbers – including freight, mail and medical.
- Maintaining long-term capacity must be an objective, but protective measures must be available in the short term – the focus should be on protecting revenue as cashflow problems are the most pressing issue.
- A sensible, supportive and pragmatic approach to furloughing will protect jobs and support current and future service delivery. This has to include support for employers looking to reduce staffing through part-time work and stand-by arrangements, rather than laying workers off.
- Consolidating and mothballing airports may make sense in the short term, in some cases. This needs to be strategic and involve key stakeholders and employment security will be key.
- Urgent discussions need to take place so that Prospect can contribute to the commercial and structural options available to air traffic services provider, NATS.
- Clarity about the support available for airlines and those in the supply chain and aircraft maintenance. Support should be contingent on retaining workforce skills and capacity.
- Ensuring that the current downturn in traffic does not erode current or future safety regulatory capacity and enforcement.
Further discussions with the Department for Transport are planned for Friday and next week.
Prospect negotiator Steve Jary urged aviation workers who are not in a union to join Prospect, adding:
“Never before has there been a time when workers have needed the support of a strong and professional union.
“We are proud of our members in aviation and constantly promote their importance to the resilience of the industry; the more members we have, the more effective we can be on your behalf.”