Loss of 450 Monarch jobs in Luton is a ‘terrible blow’ says union as it vows to fight for compensation for workers

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The union Unite said it would be offering its members maximum support and pursuing legal action for compensation over a failure to consult after Monarch Aircraft Engineering Limited (MAEL) collapsed into administration today, with the loss of 450 jobs at its Luton base.

Describing the news as a ‘terrible blow’ to the Luton economy, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union representing aviation workers, called for an urgent meeting with the administrators KPMG.

Today’s news follows announcements by MAEL earlier this week that the firm’s separate line maintenance operations at Gatwick, Birmingham, East Midlands, Newcastle and Glasgow Airports were to be largely transferred to Morson Group, with the Luton Airport operations transferring to Storm Aviation.

Some Gatwick-based employees have transferred to Boeing, while further operations at Birmingham and Manchester Airports, including related employees, have transferred to Flybe. Unite understands that around 182 jobs have been safeguarded as a result.

MAEL’s fall into administration follows the collapse of the airline Monarch in 2017.

Commenting, Unite regional officer Paul Bouch said: “This is terrible news and a terrible way to start the new year for a group of highly skilled workers. Unite will be offering our maximum support to help those affected by this announcement.

“Unite will also be seeking an urgent meeting with the administrators KPMG and launching legal action on behalf of our members for compensation over a failure to consult.

“The workers concerned have skills that are in short supply and we would urge other aviation engineering firms to step in to ensure vital engineering knowledge is not lost to industry.

“Over the coming days Unite will be engaging with the buyers of the other parts of the business to ensure that our members’ terms and conditions are protected during the transfer process and that jobs are safeguarded going forward.”