May 19, 2006 09:58 ET


LONDON, ENGLAND--(CCNMatthews - May 19, 2006) - Amicus Britain's biggest private sector union is concerned about the long term future of aircraft maintenance at Gatwick Airport. Changes in aircraft technology mean that aircrafts need less maintenance and competitive pressures on airlines also mean cutbacks.

It has been announced by British Airways management, that 120 engineers based at London, Gatwick will be made redundant. The majority of these being skilled Aircraft Engineers, this being just the latest in a continued reduction of skilled engineers at Gatwick over the last few years.

Amicus National Officer, Gordon White says

"It is vital to the long term interests of Britain that we retain the skills to maintain our own aircraft. Gatwick has a long record of high quality skilled aircraft maintenance and we are determined to protect the future of aircraft engineering at Gatwick."

Consultation with the Trade Unions has been taking place and they have been informed that the reductions will be done on a voluntary basis. Although the Trade Unions understand the issues of cost and efficiency savings within the industry, there are serious concerns at the loss of skills and the mid to long-term security of employment at Gatwick within British Airways engineering.

In 1996 there were close to 900 skilled engineers employed by British Airways at Gatwick, at the end of this current process this number could be as low as 370. Other support staff including Admin, Stores, Maintenance and management personnel are also affected. As part of this process the staff are also being asked to review shift patterns and working practices.

The skyline at Gatwick will also change, in 1987 British Airways and British Caledonian had six hangars and one major workshop complex employing over 1200 skilled staff. By 1996 this had reduced to 4 hangars being occupied by 892 staff. At the end of 2006 there will be only two permanent hangars remaining as the rest will be raised to the ground.


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  • Amicus
    Ciaran Naidoo
    07768 931 315