Unite supports protest against proposed closure of Filton Airfield

Unite, will be supporting a protest on Saturday, 18th February over the proposed closure of the Filton Airfield in Bristol.

Unite believes shutting down the airfield and building houses on it is short-sighted will jeopardise jobs, incomes and local prosperity in the long term as South Gloucestershire Council seeks to make a ‘quick-buck’ in converting the airfield into a housing development.

The union believes that closure of the airfield – which will mean that the wings for the A400M aircraft will have to be sent first via road, then by sea to France and finally by air to Seville – will undoubtedly increase costs as well as having a drastic impact on future employment in the area.

Speaking at the protest which will include union members, families and community groups, Unite assistant general secretary, Tony Burke will say: “We view this as a key priority and need to protect the jobs of our members in the aerospace industry. We want to see the site growing and thriving and our main concern is the closure of the airfield could mean a rundown at Filton.

“The wider economy of Bristol and the South West is heavily dependent on these highly-skilled jobs with many thousands more working in the supply chain. That is why we say that the local council must recognise the value of this airfield as a major source of local prosperity. It should do everything in its power to encourage investment and guarantee the long-term security of Filton Airfield.

“The local community is totally opposed to this proposed closure as many residents are also concerned that the movement of aircraft parts by road would dramatically add to what are already long traffic queues in the area. Therefore, we are calling on our members at Filton and the local community to support the protest tomorrow and ensure the message is heard loud and clear – ‘Leave Filton Airfield alone’.”

WHEN: 12pm, Saturday, 18 February 2012
WHERE: Golf Course Lane, Bristol, BS34

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