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Heathrow Airport are ‘playing Russian Roulette with workers and passengers lives’ say GMB London

This is a matter of widespread public concern so it is essential that the right arrangements are arrived as operating airports safely is vital to both health of workers and passengers and the wider economy says GMB 

GMB London, the union for workers in the aviation industry, is calling on the UK Government and the bodies responsible for public health and health and safety at work to spell out the new  detailed arrangements required to operate airports safely – as the end of phase one of the lockdown approaches.

This call is in response to the statement from the CEO of Heathrow Airport Mr Holland-Kaye that social distancing is impossible to implement at airports with any volume of passengers. See notes to editors below for a copy of the report released by the Press Association News Agency 4th May 2020.

The position of the Heathrow Airport management became clear after a new GMB London call on 1st May, for management at Heathrow Airport Limited to put much more stringent measures in place and comply with the government’s social distancing requirements, See notes to editors below for copy of the GMB London press release dated 1st May on the ignoring social distancing requirements at Heathrow.

Trevlyn McLeod, GMB London Region Organiser, said “Questions will be asked about why Mr Holland-Kaye didn’t make this statement six weeks ago, he has knowingly flaunted the government’s advice. In the past two weeks three GMB London Region members working at Heathrow have lost their lives to the coronavirus.

Certainly his statement accurately reflects what GMB members have actually experienced at the airport where the social distancing requirements are ignored and workers are not allowed to wear a mask.

It was this ignoring the rules that led to the recent GMB call for changes to implement social distancing requirements.

John Holland-Kaye is due in front of MPs on Wednesday and these questions need to be asked and he needs to answer them. We want answers and we want our members protected.

It is now imperative that the Government and the bodies responsible for public health and health and safety at work spell out without delay the alternative arrangements to operate airports safely. These are needed for both the traveling public and for the workers who run airports as the Covid-19 health emergency continues into a new phase.

What are the ingredients in the new regime? Health screening, immunity passports, face masks, super charged cleaning, etc- if social distancing is not possible?

This is a matter of widespread public concern so it is essential that the right arrangements are arrived as operating airports safely is vital to both health of workers and passengers and the wider economy.

It beggars belief that the CEO of one of the world’s largest and busiest airports can think a statement like this is acceptable when other airports around the world have put measures in place to protect their workers and their passengers.”

(Image Credit: Google)