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Coronavirus: Union slams Heathrow catering company’s plans to axe more than 1,000 jobs

Saleha Riaz
·2-min read
Do & Co’s total job losses now stand at 1,377, including voluntary redundancies, since the pandemic started, the union said.  Photo: Getty Images
Do & Co’s total job losses now stand at 1,377, including voluntary redundancies, since the pandemic started, the union said. Photo: Getty Images

Trade union Unite said Heathrow airport catering company Do & Co, whose customers include British Airways (IAG.L) will be making 1,068 staff redundant and is not “engaging constructively” in making use of the government’s plans to extend the furlough scheme to December.

Unite regional officer Shereen Higginson said: “Do & Co is the only catering company at Heathrow that has refused point blank to enter into constructive talks with the union over furlough arrangements. It is also delaying discussions on the new jobs support scheme.”

“We are ‘naming and shaming’ Do & Co as an example of corporate callousness in the middle of a global pandemic — and pointing out the indirect reputational damage to British Airways being associated with this catering company.”

Higginson added that “Throwing more than 1,000 catering workers onto the dole queue as we enter a second lockdown, when new jobs will be almost non-existent, shows a lack of humanity and common decency.”

Do & Co’s total job losses now stand at 1,377, including voluntary redundancies, since the pandemic started, the union said.

England is going into a second lockdown for one month and the government said it will extend the furlough scheme to help protect jobs.

READ MORE: Independent shops better than big retailers at surviving COVID-19 in the UK

Business groups have warned that the return to lockdown will be incredibly damaging for jobs and firms. The government has responded by reintroducing its furlough programme and extending a programme of support loans for businesses until the new year.

Earlier today, Johnson reassured businesses that the second lockdown will only last four weeks, after speculation that it could be extended.

Cabinet minister Michael Gove had said on Sunday that 2 December would be a review point for the policy and said the government would be guided by the data.

“Believe me, we will end these Autumn measures on 2 December when they expire,” Johnson said during a pre-recorded address to the Confederation of British Industry conference on Wednesday.

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