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Published on Monday, August 10, 2020

EasyJet staff hold another protest over plans to close bases

Campaigners will be demonstrating again today over easyJet's plans to close bases at Southend, Newcastle and Stansted airports and cut over 1,200 cabin crew jobs.

The demonstration will take place at Southend Airport from 1.30pm after easyJet confirmed last week it will push ahead with the closure of its bases.

The Unite union says Southend is a particular concern, after an earlier announcement that the base operated by Stobart Air for Aer Lingus' regional service will also close.

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 but is pressing ahead with large-scale cuts and closures.
Unite regional officer Lindsey Olliver said: "Supporters and easyJet staff will stage a protest at Southend airport to expose the misery this closure will cause workers and passengers, as well as the harm is will do to the regional economy and connectivity. 
"The decision to close its operations at Southend is a kick in the teeth to loyal employees, passengers and this vital regional airport.

"We are holding this demonstration to try to bring easyJet to its senses and think beyond the short-term because air travel will come back.  There is a future for the company at Southend airport if it chooses to make one.
"But as the aviation industry is essential to the future prosperity of the UK's economy, it is also imperative that the government steps up to the plate and provides sector specific support in line with other nations.  Such support was promised way back in March but with every day's delay, jobs and services are disappearing.  It must act on its promise and do so now."

The protest is the latest in a series of demonstrations Unite members have been taking part in with demonstrations outside airports and other locations across the country since Friday, as well as an online campaign demanding immediate government support for the aviation industry.

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