In the latest edition of their propaganda campaign to show what jolly fine chaps/chapesses they are, Luton Rising (LR), chose to show how their unique and highly effective arrangement with the airport operator, London Luton Airport Ltd (LLAOL), has kept the passengers flowing through the airport whilst hold ups and queues blight their competition.
HIP, HIP, HOORAY! PATS ON THE BACK ALL ROUND!
But when we look at the detail behind the fine words, we find a different picture. In July 2020, the decision was made by LLAOL to cut 250 of their directly employed staff. Covid-19 was rampant for an unknown time frame, so reducing the workforce would save on operating costs.
The parent companies of LLAOL, as detailed in the LR article, are multinational companies worth billions, yet could not afford pay to keep staff on the payroll despite Government support through the furlough scheme. Sixteen months later, in a joint statement in November 2021, LR announced that it was letting LLAOL retain £45 million from concession fees over three years, money that could have gone straight to Luton Borough Council (LBC) budgets, as it “would provide certainty” for those working for LLAOL. LR mention in their article that only 50 staff were made compulsorily redundant, but what they do not mention are the voluntary redundancies, or those who faced changes in terms and conditions. We believe the figure for voluntary takers was around 100. That means LR donated £45 million of public money over a year after those staff had been affected. How very odd?
Now let us look at events at LBC from the same time frame:-
LBC was having to make 14% of its workforce, 428 jobs, redundant or outsourced, as it was then losing £50 million of income from LR due to a lack of airport concession fee income. However, company accounts for 2019/20, show LR had received £54 million in concession fees, and so had plenty of cash to pass on.
Yes Dear Reader, your eyes do not deceive you, LBC did agree to let LR give back £45 million to LLAOL, to keep 100 staff employed, whilst letting 428 front line public service posts just disappear from their own workforce, for want of just £5 million more.
Once again, we see LR/LBC try and honey drip their poison into the public realm, suggesting that everything they do is for the people of Luton, the real owners of the airport. When in reality they are thrashing wildly about trying to keep heads above the bankruptcy line and facing the threat of losing the airport totally because of their incompetence and wild misspending on development projects.
Once again, we see how this much vaunted close co-operation between LBC/LR and LLAOL does seem to flow only one way.
Safeguarding jobs at LLAOL, or safeguarding jobs and services for the people of Luton?
In the real world, we the public would get the choice, but LBC/LR left the real world years ago. Their world is now one of secrecy and propaganda, hoping that the public will actually believe it.
Stop Luton Airport Expansion