A Green New Deal for Gatwick
A joint report by PCS, Greenhouse and Green New Deal UK on the urgent need for jobs investment in the Gatwick diamond in response to COVID-19.
This report considers the crisis in employment at Gatwick airport and in the surrounding areas as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. It challenges a troubling perception - that ‘there is no work’. We examine the latent skills potential held by former aviation workers and propose a constructive, positive investment in quality, secure jobs - jobs that meet the present and future needs of communities and the environment.
This is just the outline of a proposal and an indication of the scale of opportunity and feasibility, to prompt discussion around Gatwick’s future and the need for a new way forward - with workers and the community in the driving seat. Building on a similar consultation undertaken by Platform, engaging North Sea Oil Workers about the prospect for a Just Transition from oil to renewable energy jobs, we envisage a process that enables airport workers to draft policy demands for a transition that works for them, and identify which of the jobs created by a Green New Deal they want to work in. We now welcome the opportunity to work with local stakeholders to take this plan further, and see a Green New Deal for Gatwick become a reality.
The jobs crisis around Gatwick airport is a microcosm of both the challenges and opportunities that the economic impact of Covid-19 is bringing to the fore. The Government talks a good game on job creation and green stimulus, but the allocated funding is nowhere near what is required to tackle unemployment or the climate crisis.
This report shows the scale of investment required - and the benefits that can be reaped, from a secure future for workers to lower pollution and stronger local economies.
With Gatwick itself projecting that passenger numbers will not recover for many years, changing business practices globally, and 30% of the public indicating they intend to fly less after the pandemic, astronomical growth projections can no longer be depended upon. In an industry where just 1% of the population cause over 50% of emissions, continuing that dependence is neither sustainable nor fair. Gatwick needs a Green New Deal.
Fatima IbrahimGreen New Deal UK
“It’s great to see more organisations and unions coming together to make the point that we need to consult workers about what secure jobs they want to have in a long-term and sustainable future. The attitude that we can carry on with the ‘business as usual’ approach to aviation jobs in the UK is a farce and short-termism at best. Consulting those directly involved will allow for the best policy alternatives to be developed to ensure a just low-carbon future.”
Ben LennonPlatform London
This report exposes both the false hope of getting straight back on Gatwick’s growth train, and the doomsday view that “there is no work”.
Covid-19 has brought Gatwick and the aviation industry to a crucial tipping point much sooner than would have been the case otherwise, and there’s no going back. But while trade unions representing workers associated with the airport must continue to fight for job protection and retention, there is a huge amount of work to be done elsewhere in the regional economy.
For well under half the annual tax break the Government gives to Gatwick, it could set the whole surrounding area on a zero carbon trajectory and create thousands of secure, fulfilling jobs in the process.