Unions call on May to give green light to Heathrow expansion

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British Airways BATrade unions have called on Theresa May to prove her commitment to industry and growth by giving the go-ahead to a new Heathrow runway when Parliament returns on Monday.

The TUC, and trade unions with members in construction, manufacturing and aviation, have written to the Prime Minister urging her to support the recommendation of the Airports Commission and announce “a clear and final decision to build a new third runway at Heathrow”.

Trade unions warn that government failure to finalise the decision could hold back the 70,000 jobs the Airport Commission says will be created in the vicinity of Heathrow, and thousands more jobs across the UK that the Commission says will be generated by the boost to trade in services and manufacturing.

The unions tell the Prime Minister that “trade unions and their members stand ready to work to help the government successfully deliver this next major national infrastructure project”.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “If we want a stronger economy, we must build the infrastructure British industry needs to compete in the world.

“We’ve heard positive words about industrial strategy from the Prime Minister, but it’s action that counts. When parliament returns, the Prime Minister should waste no time in announcing a clear and final decision to build a new runway at Heathrow.

“The Heathrow decision is a big test for the government. Ministers must show they are prepared to make the right choices so that working people do not pay the price for Brexit. That means getting a move on with a proper industrial strategy backed by public investment. Otherwise Britain will struggle to create decent jobs and attract new business.”

The letter was signed by Frances O’Grady, Unite general secretary Len McCluskey, GMB general secretary Tim Roache, Prospect general secretary Mike Clancy and British Airline Pilots Association general secretary Brian Strutton.

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