Unions split on Heathrow expansion
Mention the word "jobs" and you are guaranteed to have the unions flocking to support your infrastructure project, so it significant that this ploy does not seem to be working with Heathrow expansion, as reported in The Evening Standard on 27th September.
The Evening Standard's Deputy Political Editor, Nicholas Cecil, has been talking to union officials at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool where Heathrow and Gatwick airports have been pushing their cases for expansion.
We are encouraged that Unison, which represents staff who provide public services and is one of Britain's largest unions with 1.3 million members, is speaking out about the damaging impact of a third runway on our climate change targets. Frankly it would be shocking if workers in education and health services couldn't grasp the devastating impact of 250,000 extra flights a year.
The RMT (The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers) also opposes a bigger Heathrow along with PCS (Public and Commercial Services Union), TSSA (Transport Salaried Staffs' Association) and CWU (The Communication Workers Union), the biggest union for the communications industry in the UK with 199,443 members.
By comparison, the dinosaurs at unions like the GMB, whose workers are in nearly all industrial sectors, still drone on about jobs as if another runway at Heathrow is the only answer to their endless quest to keep and increase membership - currently around 631,000 members.
The GMB has members in retail, security, schools distribution and the utilities, social care, the NHS and ambulance service and local government so it is hard to grasp why none of these people give a monkey's for the people who will suffer as a result of Heathrow expansion or for the environment that will be destroyed or the environmental impact in other countries through climate change.
You'd expect BALPA (British Airline Pilots Association) to support Heathrow expansion from their offices across the road from the airport but what about Unite, which has offices just down the road?
Unite is Britain's biggest union with 1.42 million members and it would have us believe that the majority of them want the government to "get on with it" and bring the bulldozers in to destroy whole communities to the the north of the airport. Presumably none of its members will be inhaling the worsening pollution and therefore having years knocked off their lives.
If you are a member of Unite, we feel you should be asking some serious questions about its demand for action to build a Heathrow runway. It is a demand centred in greed and indifference to suffering that does nothing for the reputation of its members.