Aviation and detention workers union, GMB call on Privilege Style Airlines to halt Rwanda flight
GMB London Regional Secretary, Warren Kenny wrote to Privilege Style bosses on behalf of his members in aviation and detention urging them to boycott the task.
Privilege Style is one of the aviation companies being widely touted on social media as being chosen by the Home Office to fly people to Rwanda.
GMB London has members who work in detention centres and all London airports. We will support any members who choose to boycott tasks affecting the appalling Rwanda deportations in support of the justice and rights of those being deported.
Priti Patel’s immoral move to offshore those seeking asylum is racist, breaches human rights and our international duties to welcome refugees which are embedded in treaty commitments. It is not a remedy to stop the human traffickers, GMB Congress has been told.
GMB has members in detention centres and other ancillary impacted businesses, caught up in this appalling situation and will support our member's actions if they choose to refuse to perform work effecting the deportations in support of the justice and rights of those being deported.
Dave Levy, GMB London Region Branch Secretary said:
“On the 10 April 2022, the High Court refused an application to stop the Government’s planned removal of people seeking asylum by offshoring them to Rwanda despite the UN warning the Home Office of the likely illegality. This decision was unsuccessfully appealed on 13 June 2022 at the Court of Appeal.
“The shameful move to offshore those seeking asylum is racist, breaches human rights and our international duties to welcome refugees which are embedded in treaty commitments.
“GMB encourages our members to take action with the airline contracted in this inhumane mission to deport the refugees.” See below.
Congress calls on GMB-supported MPs to campaign to reverse this programme, and for the Labour Party to oppose any parliamentary resolutions enabling this programme. They must recognise that many/most of the transportees are unprocessed asylum seekers fleeing threats of death and war.
Contact: Contact: GMB London Press Office 079 6744 0 297 – 079 7001 9643 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Chema Alvarez, CEO - Privilege Style,
It has been alleged on social media that you are the chosen provider for the flight today that will take the first asylum seekers to Rwanda. Numerous other airlines have refused to participate in this scheme or have subsequently pulled out due to the immense public outrage and horror at the Home Secretary's plan.
We implore Privilege Airline to do the same- it is not too late to withdraw from the scheme. In doing so you will save your organisation's reputation and prevent the immense distress and suffering of the individuals currently set to be on the flight.
The UNHCR has expressed serious concerns about the Rwandan asylum process and the inadequate protection that would be offered to those seeking safety. They have given many examples of Rwanda's ineffective asylum system and of the risks faced by refugees. For example, in 2018 at least 12 refugees were killed by police and over 60 imprisoned at a protest about inadequate food rations. Privilege Style are complicit in this threat and are publicly endorsing the government's decision to abandon their duties under the refugee convention.
I urge Privilege Style to reconsider their decision and cancel the flight.
London Regional Secretary
GMB – the Union for Aviation and detention workers