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GMB Ask Members To Back Heathrow

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

GMB Calls On Members In West London And Thames Valley To Support Heathrow Airport For Jobs And Prosperity

Boris Johnson’s plans for Thames Estuary airport may seem like pie in the sky but the threat is very real and if he gets his way Heathrow will close and without a third runway Heathrow will close says GMB

GMB, the union for airport workers, is writing to all GMB members in boroughs surrounding Heathrow Airport calling on them to support the Back Heathrow campaign, which brings together businesses, trade unions and local people to defend the jobs that rely on the airport and to fight for its secure future. See notes to editors for copy of the letter.

Gary Pearce and Stephanie Attwood, GMB organizers who look after GMB members at Heathrow, say in the letter “Heathrow brings jobs, prosperity and opportunity to thousands of people just like you and has a massive economic knock-on effect into local communities. For so many of us, it’s the economic heartbeat of life in this part of the world. Over 76,000 people are employed directly at Heathrow, and another 38,000 local jobs rely on it.

London Mayor Boris Johnson wants to see a new hugely expensive airport hub in the Thames Estuary, something that would kill off Heathrow. He has said that shutting Heathrow completely would provide a “fantastic opportunity for London” to develop a garden city or new royal borough. Well, we at GMB don’t know what’s fantastic about 114,000 jobs being lost if Heathrow shuts down.

It’s almost impossible to think what life would be like in huge areas around the west of London if Heathrow was to shut. The impact would be horrendous and the number of jobs lost would dwarf anything else seen before in the UK. House prices would plummet as people moved away. Worryingly, such a nightmare scenario could soon be on the cards.

Heathrow is currently operating at 98% capacity. Without a third runway, Heathrow would fall into decline and, in a short space of time, face closure. This is worrying stuff.

We will not stand idly by and watch Heathrow shut down. Boris Johnson’s plans may seem like pie in the sky stuff but the threat is very real. If he gets his way, Heathrow will close. Without a third runway, Heathrow will close. No more jobs, prosperity and opportunity.

End

Contact Gary Pearce 07850 036 952 or Stephanie Attwood 07921 473 264 or Mick Rix 07971 268 343 or GMB press office 07921 289880

Notes to Editors

Copy of letter to GMB members

Dear Member, Back Heathrow – Now!

I want to let you know about a very real threat to all of the jobs, prosperity and opportunities at Heathrow. This threat is why the GMB is supporting the Back Heathrow campaign, which is bringing together businesses, trade unions and local people to defend the jobs that rely on the airport and to fight for its secure future.

The GMB knows just how important Heathrow Airport is to you and your family. It brings jobs, prosperity and opportunity to thousands of people just like you and has a massive economic knock-on effect into local communities. For so many of us, it’s the economic heartbeat of life in this part of the world. Over 76,000 people are employed directly at Heathrow, and another 38,000 local jobs rely on it.

The Government has set up an Airports Commission – also called the Davies Commission – which will be tackling the issue of hub airports, airport capacity and possible expansion. A number of very scary proposals are being tabled that could see the end of Heathrow as we know it.

For instance, London Mayor Boris Johnson wants to see a new hugely expensive airport hub in the Thames Estuary, something that would kill off Heathrow. He has said that shutting Heathrow completely would provide a “fantastic opportunity for London” to develop a garden city or new royal borough. Well, we at GMB don’t know what’s fantastic about 114,000 jobs being lost if Heathrow shuts down.

The Leader of Hillingdon Council, Councillor Ray Puddifoot, has said that “the threat of closure would in the longer term be of a benefit to Hillingdon residents”.  Lord True, Leader of Richmond Council, has said about Heathrow: “It is not an adequate or a safe site for a massive airport. The Government should stop fudging till 2015, rule out this not-fit-for-purpose site and get on with delivering an expansion in a better site.”

It’s almost impossible to think what life would be like in huge areas around the west of London if Heathrow was to shut. The impact would be horrendous and the number of jobs lost would dwarf anything else seen before in the UK. House prices would plummet as people moved away. Worryingly, such a nightmare scenario could soon be on the cards.

Heathrow is currently operating at 98% capacity. It’s effectively full. Without expansion, Heathrow would cease to be the hub of international travel, as airlines that serve the thriving economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China would be forced to move away, perhaps to the hubs at Amsterdam or Paris. Without the ability to seamlessly connect, transatlantic carriers would soon abandon Heathrow. Without a third runway, Heathrow would fall into decline and, in a short space of time, face closure. This is worrying stuff.

To keep our jobs safe, and to make sure there can be prosperity and opportunities for today’s and future generations, there is only one option – to build a third runway at Heathrow. Unless this takes place the future for the airport will be very bleak indeed.

GMB is up for this fight and we need you to help by showing your support for Heathrow. It’s really simple, all you have to do is to go to the Back Heathrow website -www.backheathrow.org - and complete their survey. It’ll only take a few minutes. You can pledge your support for Heathrow there too.

And then once you have done this, please email your friends, family and colleagues and ask them to complete the survey and to pledge their support for Back Heathrow too.

We will not stand idly by and watch Heathrow shut down. Boris Johnson’s plans may seem like pie in the sky stuff but the threat is very real. If he gets his way, Heathrow will close. Without a third runway, Heathrow will close. No more jobs, prosperity and opportunity.

Let’s make sure this nightmare doesn’t become reality and Back Heathrow - Now!

Yours sincerely,

Gary Pearce                                                   Stephanie Attwood

GMB Organiser                                              GMB Organiser

PS  Once you have completed the survey at www.backheathrow.org please ask your friends, family and colleagues to fill it in as well.

 

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