28 JUNE 2021
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It was promoted as a National Day of Action, and certainly was last Wednesday (23 June). And the next day the Government listened.
From Aberdeen to Southend workers involved in the travel industry turned out in their droves making their point to media, and hence the public, with extensive coverage in the printed media, radio and TV.
Cromwell Green, outside Parliament was the centre of action, a legal 800 gathering supported by former Transport Minister Chris Grayling, Chairman of the Transport Select Committee Huw Merryman, and from their constituencies Steve Baker (Wycombe), Ben Bradshaw (Exeter), Steve Double (Newquay), Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon), Paul Maynard (Blackpool North), Henry Smith (Crawley), Mike Kane (Shadow Aviation Minister – Wythenshawe), Lilian Greenwood (Nottingham) Jim McMahon (Shadow Transport Secretary – Oldham West), and Seema Malhotra (Feltham – Heathrow).
Also much involved was Baroness Foster of Oxton, better known as Jackie Foster, a one-time BA hostess and a founder of Cabin Crew 89, a one time MEP best described as a Euro Sceptic, but much involved with aviation matters.
Essentially the gatherings were for what might loosely be termed ‘workers’ ranging from former high street travel agency staff, to redundant airline Captains, all badly affected by what was termed “an abatement of the industry” by Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive of ABTA, who put together the well behaved protest. Brian Strutton, of British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA),. led for the flight deck staff whilst the travel trade itself was represented at CEO level by amongst others Joss Croft (UKinbound), Derek Jones, Kuoni and Julia Lo Bue-Said (Advantage Travel). The aviation sector was led by Tim Alderslade (Airlines UK), Dale Keller (BAR UK) and Simon McNamara (IATA)
Clive Wratten, CEO of the Business Travel Association (BTA) summed it up: “Today’s day of action highlights the dire straits of our industry. The travel sector remains in lockdown as the rest of the country opens-up. Business travel is essential for the UK economy and our ability to trade on the international stage. The Government must provide targeted support and extend the green list at its next review.
All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum
William Brown, Glasgow
Great day. Well done all.
Jill Gosh, Harlow
And amazing day. But did it do any good?
Frank Brundal, London
As someone who came to Westminster all I can say is well done everyone for a perfect demonstration of unity in these trouble times. And also for the politicians who turned out. The coverage was amazing.