GMB London, the union for airport workers, is calling for urgent action from governments to stop aviation employers and their insurance companies from deeming the current crisis in the air passenger industry as arising from “an act of God” that enables them to trigger clauses providing for the forced ending of employment contracts.
GMB has stated that it is action by governments worldwide that has led to the almost complete closure rather than any “act of God” so the insurance sector and industry shareholders have to share the costs of coping with the crisis with the taxpayers.
Gavin Davies, senior organiser at GMB has made the following statement: “GMB members at the airports are getting text messages from employers saying that they should not come in and if they do that they will not be paid.
“We need governments to act immediately to help the thousands of workers who are experiencing clauses in their contacts being invoked linked to “acts of God” clauses in insurance policies. They were last invoked in the Iceland volcano eruption.
“As we understand it the insurance sector are claiming that the current Coronavirus crisis is the result of an “act of God” and as such they are not required to pay out.
“This will leave thousands of staff without an income. They can’t claim sick pay as they are not sick or isolated. People have bills to pay. The anxiety of our members is going through the roof.”
There has to be a recognition that it is action by governments worldwide that has led to the almost complete closure of the air passenger transport industry rather than any deity, says the GMB.