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Navi is a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport. He is glad to live close to his place of work.

Heathrow employs 72,000 people. According to the Heathrow Airport website, it is the biggest single-site employer in the UK. Almost half of the workforce live in the neighbouring boroughs of Ealing, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Slough and Spelthorne. One in ten workers in Hounslow, for example, works at the airport.

While the benefits that employment brings to the Merthyr opencast coal mine and the Grangemouth petrochemical plant are contentious points, Heathrow Airport undoubtedly brings a direct economic benefit to the communities around it.

It is because Heathrow Airport is such a major employer that trade unions can potentially play an important role in influencing the British Airports Authority and other major polluters to become more environmentally responsible, invest in green technology and in green jobs. To read more about what role trade unions currently play visit the Only Planet website.