SACKED aircraft workers at Prestwick Airport are set to take their former employers to court over what they claim to be an unfair dismissal.

Around 20 employees had been confirmed to have their contracts terminated at Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance Limited (PAML) – after they spoke out over having to work full time hours for half their pay.

Now the aerospace union representing the workers has taken legal action, and have requested the Scottish Government consider ordering the maintenance base for currently grounded Ryanair flights to be closed down.

Prospects National Secretary for Scotland, Richard Hardy told the Advertiser: “We’re going to press ahead with employment tribunals.

“Myself and Graham Smith have written a joint letter to the Scottish Government to express concerns over the behaviors of PAML.

“The BA maintenance facility at Glasgow Airport has closed. Ryanair’s maintenance facility at Stanstead is closed and the staff are all furloughed.

“The decision to stay open is not being driven by the Civil Aviation Authority or any other regulator.”

Prospect have expressed concern to the Scottish Government, who own the land which PAML is situated.

They have asked the landlord to “ensure its tenants are behaving in accordance with Scottish Government guidance and that health and safety of its staff is being maintained and facilitated”, after workers had expressed concern that social distancing guidelines were not being followed.

Prospect are adamant that the work being carried out is not is essential, and that the situation could have been avoided if the boss of PAML, Ed Cunningham, accepted guidance and furloughed staff.

Richard said: “We are aware of around 20 staff who have lost their jobs, but there has probably been more.

“It’s terrible for those people he has decided to do this to. It could all have been avoided. Other companies that work with Ryanair are doing the same thing.”

Other workers still remaining on the site, which employs nearly 300, are said to be fearful after workers were sacked.

Richard added “Because he’s moved against a certain number of people who resisted the wage cut, people are really scared.”

The Scottish Government say the situation at Prestwick Aircraft Maintenance will be a cause for “great concern to employees and their families.

A spokesperson said: “The Scottish Government, through Scottish Enterprise, remains in discussion with the company to explore what options are available.

“It is now more important than ever that employers adopt Fair Work principles and practice to get through the COVID-19 health ad economic crises. Fundamentally, employers should look to maintain jobs and pay their workers throughout.

“Businesses and the public in Scotland are now required by law to follow necessary social distancing measures to slow the spread of coronavirus.

“It is essential that all businesses act responsibly to safeguard the nation’s health, well-being and economic future.

“They must engage with their trades unions and staff to establish what is safe.”

The Ayr Advertiser contacted Ed Cunningham but received no response.


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