One the key arguments used by airports who want to justify their expansion plans is that more flights mean more jobs.
Forecasting the increase generated by the expansion in flights, passenger numbers and therefore the jobs created is all guess work, and airports all tend to be overly optimistic. They often claim that vast amounts of jobs will be created by expansion and will benefit local communities, however the numbers of jobs created can be as few as 100 per million passengers.
This argument was used by Manchester Airport during the first round of expansion plans in 1991 when it claimed that the second runway would generate 50,000 jobs. However, following the opening of the runway in 2001 the actual net increase in jobs provided at airport was only about 6000. MAG are actively using this argument again throught the creation of the ‘Airport City’ or Enterprise Zone.
Check out the AEF’s report on aviation and jobs for more information.
Climate campaigners recognise the importance of and need for new jobs, and a new report from the Campaign against Climate Change ‘One Million Jobs Now‘, provides the answer. It shows how over 1,000,000 jobs could be created in ‘climate jobs’.
These jobs would directly help to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we’re putting into the air – unlike the ‘green jobs’ the Government keeps supporting. The report suggests that new jobs could be created in all areas – including those in sustainable energies, homes and buildings and transport.
Providing this many new jobs is vital to tackling climate change and providing a transition for workers employed in polluting industries. It would also assist the two and a half million people currently unemployed in the UK. The report demonstrates how over half those people could be re-employed in new ‘climate jobs’.
The report was partly inspired by the Vestas struggle, where a group of un-unionised workers on the Isle of Wight were given their marching orders when a factory manufacturing wind turbines was shut down. Work in sectors like the aviation industry is notoriously precarious, with boom and bust cycles creating little job security. The report argues for Government investment in genuinely sustainable employment, for work which will continue to be useful; regardless of the vagaries of the market.
This document is hugely important to climate change activists. It helps to highlight the compatibility of workers and climate activist’s struggles and so helps to cement a crucial relationship in the fight against unsustainable capitalism and climate change.