Far left: John Holland-Kaye, chief executive, Heathrow Airport
London Heathrow Airport has set out five new pledges that highlight the benefits of the airport’s expansion for union members, at the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the national trade union center in the UK.
Among the pledges announced is a guaranteed place for the TUC in the Heathrow Skills Taskforce. The TUC representative will assist the taskforce’s chair, Lord David Blunkett, and will bring the labor movement’s perspective to deliver a nationwide skills legacy through Heathrow expansion. Twelve other members, to be announced at a later date, will make up the remainder of the taskforce’s membership, representing local government, further education, business and youth social action. Their work will commence should the Government grant London Heathrow approval for expansion.
The five pledges include creating up to 180,000 new jobs spread across the country, including 10,000 apprenticeships; providing high-quality careers for local people, ensuring all direct Heathrow employees earn the London Living Wage; supporting British industry by working with trades unions, UK steel producers and SMEs across the country; meeting tough environmental and noise limits, enforced by new independent regulators; securing a lasting legacy for future generations.
John Holland-Kaye, chief executive, Heathrow Airport, said, “Heathrow expansion, along with its huge potential for jobs, apprenticeships and skills creation, will be the cornerstone of any government plan to make Brexit a success. Now more than ever, we need private investment and infrastructure projects that link us to the world and show that Britain is open for business.
With the support and experience of the TUC, we will ensure Heathrow expansion delivers a lasting economic legacy for generations of British people.”
Frances O’Grady, general secretary, TUC, said, “Trades unions are proud to be working with London Heathrow to ensure that the third runway delivers thousands of high-quality jobs and apprenticeships.
“Today’s pledges will help ensure high-quality conditions and opportunities for workers in construction, airport operation and throughout the supply chain. We are also pleased the TUC will also be represented in the Skills Taskforce, where we will play a key part in fostering the next generation of workers at the airport.
“Our economy needs a shot in the arm. That means serious investment and a major infrastructure upgrade. Expanding Heathrow is an ideal project, as it’s shovel-ready and will have long-term benefits.
“But government delay is stopping us from getting to work. Now is the time for decision. We urge Theresa May to give the Government’s final go-ahead to the third Heathrow runway.”