Richard has today called on the government to defend employees from the bare knuckle fight in the airline industry.
Speaking on Sunday, he said: "The airline industry is one of the world’s most economically efficient but also one of the most ruthless. Having been involved in the rescue of an airline – albeit a long time ago and far away – I can attest to the bare-knuckle negotiating style that prevails in times of crisis. An existential crisis now affects the whole industry and many people in my constituency who work for airlines, at airports or in the aviation supply chain will be affected.
"The government must be vigilant in protecting the rights of airline crew and staff. There will be job losses, but any attempt by airline bosses to change terms of employment without union or worker consent would, in my view, be an abuse of power whilst the travel industry is so restricted. Re-hiring staff that have been laid off can be done relatively quickly but negotiations on terms and conditions in employment agreements between executives and worker representatives can take years
"The government must also be vigilant in defending taxpayers’ money. Tricks will abound such as the offer of Necker Island as collateral: a hard to value asset that is illiquid other than the water that surrounds it. Taxpayers should provide no bailouts of existing shareholders without them providing a substantial new contribution and only with stringent tax rules on any future capital gains or dividends."