Union Representing Heathrow Staff Rejects Third Runway
BASHR3 public meeting in Hounslow shown on BBC Sunday Politics
Marking one year since the government's decision to "accept the recommendation of the Airports Commission" to expand Heathrow, BASH held a public meeting in Hounslow town centre. The well-attended evening was filmed by the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme and is available to watch online during November (Heathrow starts 21 minutes in with Hounslow at 23).
Tahir Latif who represents Heathrow workers in the Public & Commercial Services Union(PCS) was on the panel. The union opposes expansion, saying that there is little real evidence supporting the extravagant promises made about jobs. Tahir noted that it was ‘complex’ for the Aviation Group of PCS to oppose expansion, but said
“although we want to protect Heathrow jobs whether or not the airport expands, the environmental impact of a 3rd runway would be too serious. PCS advocates sustainable transport and the creation of new jobs in that growing sector.”
Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford & Isleworth and a founding member of BASH, was also on the panel. She made clear that the campaign was not anti-Heathrow but wanted the airport to be better not bigger.
“Of course the local economy needs Heathrow, but there are many other growing industries locally that are not dependent on it and in fact have to compete with it. A bigger Heathrow would also mean more traffic congestion, which has major economic as well as health costs.”
She added that what Heathrow actually needs to do is to strive to be a better place to work, with better working conditions for all, and to be a better neighbour. This point was passionately supported by members of the audience living in Hounslow who described the constant, distressing effect of aircraft noise on their lives.
John Stewart, Chair of HACAN, informed the audience that the Government has just launched a further round of public consultations, this time on Air Quality and updated Passenger Number Forecasts, because some of the conclusions of Sir Howard Davies’s 2015 Airports Commission have proved inaccurate. His view was that air pollution around the airport is unlikely to reach acceptable levels by the time the 3rd runway is due to open. Details of the new consultation can be found online.
October 30, 2017