easyJet staff demonstrate against base closures
easyJet staff will hold socially distanced demonstrations this week at Newcastle, Southend and Stansted airports over plans to close operations at those locations and shed 1,290 cabin crew jobs nationwide.
The protests – which will take place today in Newcastle, Southend tomorrow and at Stansted on Friday – come after staff voted in favour of a no confidence ballot in easyJet chief operating officer Peter Bellew.
The ballot of more than 3,000 Unite cabin crew members at the airline was 99 per cent in favour of the no confidence motion.
Pilot union BALPA conducted a similar ballot which also returned a near unanimous vote of no confidence in Bellew.
Unite members are angry that while their jobs and incomes at the airline are under attack, easyJet paid £174 million in dividends to shareholders at the start of the Covid-19 crisis.
The company has also secured a government funded load of £600 million yet is pressing on with a large-scale cuts and closure programme.
Unite regional officer, Lindsey Olliver, said: “Since Bellew’s arrival at easyJet our members have become increasingly concerned by his actions.
“They genuinely fear for the longevity and reputation of easyJet with Bellew in his current position.
“The airline’s crew wear their uniforms with pride, but they are losing faith in the company and feel undervalued and disrespected.”
She added: “easyJet must halt these closures and redundancies but the government also has its part to play.
“It is absolutely essential that the job retention scheme is extended for the aviation sector, which has been one of the industries worst hit by the pandemic.”