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EasyJet plans to cut 727 pilot jobs and close three UK bases | Business

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EasyJet is planning to make as many as one in three of its pilots redundant and close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle airports.

The airline is planning to cut up to 727 pilot jobs and up to 1,200 cabin crew jobs across the UK. It started consultations with unions in the UK on Tuesday after announcing last month that it would be making a total of about 4,500 staff redundant across Europe.


EasyJet’s chief executive, Johan Lundgren, said: “These are very difficult proposals to put forward in what is an unprecedented and difficult time for the airline and the industry as a whole.

“Unfortunately, the lower-demand environment means we need fewer aircraft and have less opportunity for work for our people. We are committed to working constructively with our employee representatives across the network with the aim of minimising job losses as far as possible.”

Other UK airlines are expecting to make a similar proportion of staff redundant, with BA cutting up to 12,000 jobs, and Virgin Atlantic and Ryanair both expecting to cut 3,000.

About a third of the easyJet job losses are expected to come at the three bases, with potential further job losses in ground operations and aircraft maintenance roles at those airports.

Some flights will continue in and out of Newcastle and Stansted, operated by planes and crew based elsewhere, but there is less certainty for Southend, where easyJet is a key airline customer.

The airline said it remained committed to its UK operations, where it has 163 planes across 11 bases, flying more than 50 million passengers annually before coronavirus. EasyJet said it believed pre-Covid-19 passenger numbers would not return until 2023 and that it would “continue to review its network and bases”.

The pilots’ union, Balpa, said that the layoffs were “an overreaction” and that it would be “fighting to save every single job”. The Balpa general secretary, Brian Strutton, said: “We know that aviation is in the midst of the Covid crisis, and we had been expecting easyJet to make an announcement of temporary measures to help the airline through to recovery. But this seems an overreaction, and easyJet won’t find a supply of pilots waiting to come back when the recovery takes place over the next two years.”

He called for the government to step in with measures to help aviation in the UK, which he said was “caught in a death spiral of despair”.

Any bailout at easyjet would be controversial after the airline paid a £174m dividend to shareholders in March, when the crisis was already under way. The airline has also used the government’s furlough scheme to pay thousands of its staff.

The Unite union, which represents cabin crew and other aviation workers, said it was another massive blow for the industry and highlighted the urgent need for government support.

Unite’s national officer for civil aviation, Oliver Richardson, said easyJet had its “priorities all wrong … it has paid a multimillion dividend to its shareholders, borrowed hundred of millions from the government to buy new aircraft, and has fully utilised the job retention scheme. It absolutely should not be allowed to make huge redundancies a few weeks later.”

He added: “We are now more than three months on since the chancellor promised support for UK aviation. The government’s ongoing failure to provide such support is directly resulting in huge job losses throughout the industry and is threatening the viability of airlines and airports alike.”

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The detail of job losses at easyJet will fuel concerns about the fate of smaller, regional airports in particular. Earlier on Tuesday, Birmingham airport announced that it would be laying off up to 250 people, more than a quarter of directly employed staff, due to the coronavirus downturn.

Ground services and baggage handling group Swissport last week announced that it was halving its UK workforce, resulting in 4,500 job losses, and that it had already begun the process of making 500 staff redundant at its Midlands hub.

EasyJet last week launched a rights issue to raise another £450m in cash, having already accessed a £600m Bank of England loan as part of a £2bn war chest to survive the prolonged grounding of its fleet.

EasyJet restarted limited flights two weeks ago and still hopes to fly to most European destinations this summer, on a greatly reduced schedule, if travel restrictions are lifted.

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SC pharmaceutical plant adds 380 jobs in $215M expansion

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A pharmaceutical plant in South Carolina has announced a $215 million expansion, that will create 380 new jobs.

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp., in a news release Friday, said the expansion would include adding new office, warehouse and vaccine production space at its plant in Lexington County. The projected new jobs would be created by 2024, The State reported.

“Thanks to our partnerships with state and local officials, and the trust they have placed in us, we have been able to provide life-saving medications to patients around the world and establish ourselves as the global leader in what we do,” Nephron CEO Lou Kennedy said in the release.

Nephron develops and produces generic inhalation solutions and suspension products, including those used to treat severe respiratory distress symptoms associated with COVID-19, the company said.

The company has invested $313 million in its facility in West Columbia/Cayce, and has created more than 1,800 full- and part-time jobs over the last five years, the release said.



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City Council: ‘Whitewashed’ Comments Poor Choice Of Words | News, Sports, Jobs

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Several members of the Jamestown City Council disagree with Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist’s comment that the city’s employment policies are “Whitewashed.”

During the last “Justice June” rally held at Dow Park Sunday, June 28, Sundquist said the reintroduction of the Jamestown Commission on Human Rights will, “help us as a city know where we need to go, help us as a city be more inclusive.” He continued by stating, “I know that we have some policies that are frankly whitewashed. We have policies here in the city that say, ‘If you’re white, you get the job.’ Those are the things that we need to change, those are the things that I’m committed to changing here in this city.”

Tamu Graham-Reinhardt, At-Large councilwoman, said the whitewashed comment was a poor choice of words.

“I don’t know what his intent was. I know we do have to follow some strict policies for equal employment. The department heads have to look at several qualified candidates,” she said. “I think whitewashed is a poor choice of words.”

Anthony Dolce, council president, said he felt the term whitewashed was a “bit harsh” in describing the city’s employment policies. He said the Equal Employment Opportunity Policy Statement was updated by the council in October 2019.

“The (Equal Employment Opportunity) Policy was state recommended. It deals with everything from bullying to sexual harassment to racism to cyber issues,” he said.

Dolce said it is a challenge for city officials to recruit minorities.

“It’s a very difficult practice. We have to follow strict guidelines when it comes to civil service jobs,” he said. “It’s a complex issue, and to suggest that we only hire white people is inaccurate and a bit strong.”

Kimberly Ecklund, At-Large councilwoman, said she has received several phone calls from constituents asking what Sundquist meant by the whitewashed comment.

“I received multiple phone calls from people who were surprised and taken aback,” she said. “I thought (the comment) was extremely inappropriate. I for one know there are minorities employed by city government. My spouse (Keith Ecklund) is the only Asian I believe to (be a member) of the (Jamestown) Fire Department.”

Jeff Russell, At-Large councilman, said — as a retired Jamestown Police Department employee of more than 20 years — there are few minorities applying to be a police officer.

“I cannot speak for all departments, but on the police side there aren’t many (minority) applicants there. I would like to see more,” he said. “On the police side, there is a minimum of two years of college and then you have to apply for the academy and get through that, which is roughly six months long. Then you have to take the civil service test and score in the top three. From what I’ve seen personally, we’re not seeing minority applicants locally.”

Russell said during his career working with the Jamestown Police Department, he worked with two African Americans, with one leaving after nine years on the force to work for the FBI and the other who recently retired from the JPD. He also said there are several women police officers working for the city’s police department. He added that there is also a Hispanic officer who is bilingual working for the JPD.

“I didn’t see it as a whitewashed problem. It’s a lack of applicants,” he said.

Tom Nelson, Ward 6 councilman, said during his tenure on the council he has not seen a whitewashed problem.

“It’s nothing I’ve experienced and nothing I’ve seen,” he said.

Nelson said he believes Sundquist, who is in his first seven months as mayor, has dealt with a lot of issues like the COVID-19 pandemic and issues of race in city government.

“He has been faced with some tough things as a young mayor,” he said. “I think he’s doing a great job.”

All five of the council members believe it’s a good idea for Sundquist to reintroduce the Jamestown Commission on Human Rights.

“I think it’s a good idea,” Graham-Reinhardt said. “When (Sundquist) announced (Jamestown Commission on Human Rights), I cautioned Eddie about it needing to be a cross section from all members of the community. It shouldn’t be stacked with just African Americans and Latinos. It should also include the elderly and people with disabilities. We need to be thinking about all of the people in the community to ensure everyone’s voice is being heard.”

The Post-Journal also contacted Brent Sheldon, Ward 1 councilman, Vickye James, Ward 3 councilwoman, Marie Carrubba, Ward 4 councilwoman, and Grant Olson, Ward 5 councilman, for their opinions, but didn’t receive a response.

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The Wall | News, Sports, Jobs

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Staff photo by Fritz Busch
Rodrigo Tojo Garcia of New Ulm spray paints over several messages on a building near the New Ulm Art Wall Friday.

NEW ULM — Police hope to catch individuals who continue to spray paint symbols and words of hate at the Art Wall park, on a nearby building, in a railroad underpass and on the New Ulm bike trail.

Emmie Turner, a local resident walking the bike path near the Art Wall Wednesday, noticed a crude painting of Hitler with a swastika body. Further down the path, near the tunnel over the railroad track, the passerby noticed more swastikas and use of the N-word.

On Thursday, she and a group of volunteers painted over the racist graffiti on the Art Wall and in the tunnel.

Friday morning, more racist language showed up on the wall.

Friday afternoon, a number of people including Rodrigo Tojo Garcia of New Ulm, returned to area near the Art Wall and repainted some of the message of hope and love.

“I heard they (hateful message creators) covered up some of the graffiti we did yesterday, so I can back to put it back on,” Tojo Garcia said.

Some of those messages read “Be the change the world needs. Spread love, not hate. An eye for an eye makes the world blind-Gandhi.”

After Tojo Garcia left the Wall Park, Kari Rose of New Ulm walked towards it on the trail.

“I think the hateful and racist messages are horrible,” Rose said. “There is no room for it in this town. It needs to change. I’m glad more and more people are stepping up to the plate, saying we’re not okay with it.”

“We’re investigating it. We have leads to follow up on,” said New Ulm Police Chief Dave Borchert. “I walk the trail myself by the Art Wall. I’d like to catch the people doing this.”

“We’re heard from a number of concerned citizens. A group of them is looking for the suspects. The comments are hurtful,” Borchert added.

Borchert said if officers see hateful graffiti, they’ll document it for evidence.

“I’ve never seen it this bad. It’s really spread,” Borchert said. “They’re damaging property now. Painting outside the wall, on the bike trail, underpass and on the state bridge is illegal.”

Borchert said individuals convicted of damage to property for painting messages on places other than the Art Wall could be charged with felonies if the costs to repair the damage exceeds $1,000. Such charges including lesser repair costs would be gross misdemeanors or misdemeanors.

“If it’s juveniles, we can do juvenile petitions for felonies. Reports would go to the Brown County Attorney’s Office,” Borchert said.

(Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com).

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