Press Release – 29 May 2020

Statement from Sarah Owen MP to easyJet staff following announcement of 30% cut in workforce

“This is absolutely devastating news for EasyJet staff. They have endured a lot already during this pandemic, with cuts to their pay while stepping up to help others get through the crisis, as cabin crew were redeployed to health centres.  I am seeking urgent meetings with EasyJet bosses and the trade unions.”

“I would urge those who are union members to speak with their reps as soon as they can. My team and I will be there to help individual cases in any way possible.”

“We always feared the pandemic’s impact would be far greater than just the health of the nation but the severe local economic impact on families and workers in Luton requires urgent support from the government and that is what I will continue to fight for.”

Staff at easyJet are fundamental to keeping Luton’s economy going. Job losses of the scale proposed, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, would be devastating for our town and the families of people in Luton who work for easyJet.

That is why I will be working with my Luton South MP neighbour Rachel Hopkins to do everything we can to put pressure on government to step in and offer a package of support specifically for the airline and aviation industry. The government promised to do “whatever it takes” to support families and businesses through this crisis, but it’s clear that their lack of action to support the industry has now left thousands of people in Luton who work for easyJet, as well as in other parts of the aviation sector and the wider supply chain, worrying about their jobs.

Today, I met with reps from Unite the Union and the British Airline Pilots Association to discuss the concerns of staff and to find out how I can best support easyJet workers. I will work with staff and trade unions in whatever way possible to minimise the impact of yesterday’s announcement by easyJet.

We had hoped to meet with easyJet bosses this week to discuss their plans but when we do, I will question why they are taking the decision to consult on redundancies during a time that many workers are furloughed and how it will be possible for unions and the company to consult in any meaningful way with employees during this time.

easyJet have a duty of care to their dedicated staff and the government should be working with them to ensure that no decisions on redundancies take place before a specific support strategy for restarting the aviation industry is in place.

My office remains available to offer help and support to people in Luton as the current situation develops. If any members of EasyJet staff, or workers in the wider supply chain, would like us to make representations to airline bosses on their behalf, please do not hesitate to contact our offices.