Kate Osborne stood alongside protesters outside the British Airways call centre at Bamburgh Court in Newcastle city centre on Friday, July 24 in support of the Unite campaign.
The Labour politician is among a number of North East MPs who have backed a pledge urging the Prime Minister to review UK landing slots legislation in the wake of the ‘fire and rehire’ accusations against British Airways.
Unite claims the air industry giant is the only company proposing to fire all its 42,000 staff and re-hire those that survive on worse pay and inferior terms and conditions.
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The union’s petition states that British Airways continues to ‘attack its own workforce and imposes drastic and unnecessary cuts’ the Government should amend the current form of allocation including ‘legacy’ or ‘grandfather’ rights.
That from 2021 the UK Parliament will have the power to set ‘additional local criteria that incentivise internal investment, social responsibility and connectivity in return for slot allocation’.
A Unite poll revealed that the British public backs tough action against British Airways over its ‘fire and rehire’ plans with both Conservative and Labour voters giving support for the introduction of legislation to strip the airline of its privileged access to UK landing slots.
Ms Osborne commented: “I’m here to show solidarity and support for the workers that are being let down so terribly at the moment – we have to stand up and take these big bosses on.
"They need to show some reward and recognition for staff who have given years of service. It’s disgraceful the way they are being treated with these contracts.”
The campaign moved to Madrid on Wednesday, July 22, with a protest at the airline’s parent company.
British Airways previously said that no final decisions have been made.
A spokesman commented: “We are acting now to protect as many jobs as possible. The airline industry is facing the deepest structural change in its history, as well as facing a severely weakened global economy.
“We call on Unite and GMB to work with us, as the pilots’ union Balpa is doing.”