Sadiq Khan calls for European workers employed before Brexit to return to plug labour shortage

Screen grab taken from PA video of London Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at the launch of the Transport for London (TfL) consultation on the expansion of the London ultra low emission zone ULEZ London-wide, at City Hall, London. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2022.
Screen grab taken from PA video of London Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at the launch of the Transport for London (TfL) consultation on the expansion of the London ultra low emission zone ULEZ London-wide, at City Hall, London. Picture date: Friday May 20, 2022.

Mr Khan said the problems created by the shortage of labour were 'self-inflicted'

Published

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said ministers should allow European workers who were employed in the aviation industry before Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic to return in order to plug the labour shortage in the sector.

The Labour politician told the BBC’s Sunday Morning programme: “The Government should recognise there are shortages in the occupation, of those who work in aviation.

“That means opening up these jobs to those from the European Union who were doing these jobs before.

“Because what we don’t want is a spring misery turned into a summer misery. Many families who have saved, who have paid for a holiday and are looking forward to a holiday are going to be let down.”

Sadiq Khan
Sadiq Khan

He added: “What you can do very easily is make sure those who were in those jobs before, who have gone back to their country of origin, from the EU, are encouraged to come back.

“This is self-inflicted from the Government. Listen, it isn’t about Covid, this is about Brexit plus Covid.”

Union leaders called for urgent talks with the Mayor of London in a bid to avert a 24-hour Tube strike.

Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union are set to walk out on Monday, threatening travel chaos immediately after the Jubilee weekend.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at Paddington station in London, to mark the completion of London's Crossrail project by travelling on the Elizabeth line
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (right) and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan at Paddington station in London, to mark the completion of London's Crossrail project by travelling on the Elizabeth line

The union is protesting over job cuts and a “looming threat” to pensions.

There’s no point in our union continuing to sit opposite management representatives who have neither the inclination nor the authority to negotiate a settlement, when the power lies with the Mayor

RMT general secretary Mick Lynch said: “We are demanding a direct face to face meeting with mayor Sadiq Khan to sort this mess out.

“There’s no point in our union continuing to sit opposite management representatives who have neither the inclination nor the authority to negotiate a settlement, when the power lies with the Mayor.

“The mayor of London has tax-raising powers. Just four banks made a profit of £34bn last year and are set to pay out over £4bn in bonuses to London traders. A windfall tax on those profits would more than adequately fund London’s transport network.

“Mayor Khan must choose either the take on the Tory government and demand a just funding deal for Londoners or attack loyal Tube workers who keep the capital moving day in day out.”