Government ministers have been urged to step in to save local jobs – before it’s too late.
The call came after UK Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, could not confirm which aviation companies or how many had made use of special support promised by the Chancellor over two months.
With Glasgow Airport and Rolls-Royce both major employers in Renfrewshire, any loss of jobs at either would have major implications for the local economy.
British Airways have already announced 12,000 proposed job losses, representing over one third of their total staff, with Chief Executive Willie Walsh appearing before the Transport Select Committee last week to face a grilling from MPs.
MP Gavin Newlands, whose Paisley and Renfrewshire North seat includes the airport, and who sits on the Committee, hit out at the UK Government for their lack of action to help employees and employers.
“Two months ago the Chancellor promised a bespoke support scheme for the aviation sector, and two months later we are still waiting for detail.
“Vague answers about letters received just aren’t good enough – tens if not hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country are on the line and people’s livelihoods are too important to simply make vague promises. We already know BA want to axe 12,000 jobs, including 130 at their Edinburgh base, and there can be no doubt that hundreds of jobs in Renfrewshire are under threat if BA go ahead with their plans.
“Meanwhile road haulage and logistics firms are weeks from bankruptcy, while the coach industry is on its knees – both key sectors for the economic recovery we all need to see happen once the current crisis is over.
“Transport is a fundamental building block of our national and international economy, and the lack of answers or a clear plan from the UK Government is deeply worrying. Leaving our transport future up to Willie Walsh to plan is a recipe for disaster.”