TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, is calling on the Government to listen to the voices of the travel industry ahead of the Travel Day of Action tomorrow.
Manuel Cortes said Ministers had "treated travel as a Cinderella service" throughout the pandemic, offering no specific support across the industry. The union boss said Ministers would have to account for their actions since March last year, with businesses struggling and many jobs lost.
The Travel Day of Action sees trade bodies from across the aviation and travel industries coming together for a #traveldayofaction to put pressure on the UK Government to support a safe return of international travel in time for the peak summer period.
Many events are planned in person and online, including a lobby in Westminster, and events in Edinburgh and Belfast.
Manuel Cortes said:
"This is the last chance for Ministers to listen to the voices of workers across our travel trade who have been all but abandoned during the pandemic by a Government which has treated travel as a Cinderella service.
"Today, they will hear the concerns of travel workers, and our members, loud and clear. Our travel industry has been brought to a virtual standstill as traffic light restrictions cover the most popular holiday destinations going into a second summer season of disruption.
"I’m clear that keeping the current Covid restrictions in place at the moment is needed, but as a result Ministers simply must act to provide meaningful financial support. Many months ago I said we needed a Minister for Travel, but that also fell on deaf ears.
"It’s not good enough and the Government must recognise this and make amends. Many thousands of jobs and businesses are on the line this summer."
The day of action will call on the UK Government to:
- Allow international travel to return safely and in a risk managed way by properly implementing the Global Travel Taskforce’s plan for a traffic-light system, by expanding the Green list in line with the evidence and making restrictions more proportionate, whilst keeping a strong red list to guard against variants.
- Bring forward a package of tailored financial support, including extension of furlough support, recognising that the travel sector’s ability to trade and generate income is much slower than first anticipated and more gradual than for businesses in the domestic economy.
The day of action is timed to take place ahead of when the Government is expected to discuss and decide on the next steps for international travel, which is due to take effect on 28 June.