LONDON – Unite, Britain’s biggest union, has accused British Airways of abandoning Britain in favor of London as the company announces it will close its last regional base, which is in Glasgow.
The union has vowed to fight the closure. While there will be no compulsory redundancies, 120 jobs will be affected. Unite is angry that the centralization of services to Heathrow and Gatwick is taking place at the expense of Britain’s regional economy.
Last year British Airways outsourced its ground services across the regional airports to Aviance and closed its regional base in Manchester. The airline is also in the process of ending its Manchester to New York services which is having a knock-on effect on skilled engineering jobs.
Unite national officer, Steve Turner said, “Our members based at Glasgow will be holding a mass meeting this Thursday and we are going to fight to keep this Scottish base open. We believe British Airways has ignored the consultation process, and our members were furious that they had to hear the leaked news over the radio. This approach to employment relations is totally unacceptable. How can BA call itself British when it is centralized in the South East of England?”
Unite national officer, Brian Boyd said, “This latest development at British Airways is a further indication that the centralization of the business to Heathrow is fundamental to the company’s long-term strategy. The message to employees is clear, if you want to work for BA come to London. The expansion of Heathrow is intended to provide an improved regional service, not to force people to relocate to London.”