A TRADE union has today launched a campaign to protect jobs at Scottish airports. Unite Scotland says 1500 workers are at risk of redundancy from airlines and companies operating at Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Glasgow airports.

It released the findings of a study by the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI), which suggested almost 5000 Scottish jobs may be at risk because of proposed redundancies at airports and in the aerospace sector.

It says the knock-on effect of the airport redundancies could result in the loss of a further 800 jobs in the wider economy.

The 1500 airport redundancies alone would cause a £90 million loss to the Scottish economy in Gross Value Added (GVA) and the overall economic impact would be a loss of around £140m, after accounting for knock-on effects.

The FAI report found the planned job losses in the aerospace industries – at companies including Rolls Royce, GE Caledonian, Spirit Aerosystems and Wyman Gordon – could also inflict a £325m blow to the Scottish economy, with the ultimate loss of 2530 staff.

Unite says Scottish airport workers are disproportionately affected by planned job losses compared to the rest of the UK.

Meanwhile, some face their earnings being cut by up to 45% by airlines firing and rehiring staff on poorer pay and conditions.

The union is calling on its members and the wider public to contact their constituency and regional list MSPs in support of its campaign for government intervention to prevent the “potential collapse of civil air transport infrastructure”, save jobs and protect wages and terms and conditions.

The campaign is demanding the furlough scheme for the industry is extended beyond the UK Government’s end date of October 31, as well as for an end to the “fire and rehire” proposals.

It also wants any government support, investment or tax relief to come with conditions to protect jobs, wages and terms of employment, in line with the Scottish Government’s fair work principles.

Unite Scottish secretary Pat Rafferty said: “The launch of Unite’s Save Scotland’s Airports campaign is vitally important in concentrating the minds of the Scottish and UK governments on the immense pressure the civil aviation industry is under.

“The scale of the challenge is massive and that’s why we need all politicians to support our campaign demands, which focus on the condition of protecting jobs and the terms and conditions of workers associated with any company receiving government support.

“We also need strong support from politicians and the public to ensure that any civil aviation company, such as British Airways and Menzies Aviation, stops and reverses the brutal attacks on jobs and the terms and conditions of the workforce under fire and rehire practices.”