Sacked Gatwick Airport workers say they have been ‘left out in the cold’

Staff who have lost their jobs at Gatwick Airport because of the coronavirus outbreak say they have been ‘left out in the cold.’

Airport bosses announced in March that 200 jobs were going in a bid to protect the business.

But staff say they were dismissed with no offer of the government’s ‘furlough’ package which would have seen their jobs retained.

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A spokesman for the sacked workers said: “During these unprecedented and uncertain times, Gatwick Airport should be doing all they can to support their employees but are instead choosing to dismiss them and effectively leave them ‘out in the cold’ with minimal hope of securing further work during the coming months due to the current outbreak.”

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Gatwick Airport announced last month that the fixed term contracts of 200 contractors had been terminated due to lower passenger numbers.

And since then a number of temporary staff contracts have been terminated and a ‘small number’ of back office staff have been made redundant.

A reduced working hours scheme has also been introduced and a voluntary severance programme is still ongoing.

A Gatwick spokesperson said: “To protect the jobs of our staff, a significant proportion of Gatwick employees will be put onto the Government’s Job Retention Scheme, which provides help to pay wages and thereby supporting the airport to retain staff so that they can return to work when the current coronavirus crisis has ended.

“The scheme will last for a period of one month initially, but the length of time will be kept under constant review.

“This is in line with the reduced operations for the airport we announced on Friday March 27.

“The remainder of staff will continue to work reduced hours, many from home with others working on the airport to ensure it remains safe, secure and operational and can return to normal as quickly as possible.”

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