Third World Conditions Exposed at Australia's Airports

Behind the shiny façade of Australia’s world class airports is an underclass of aviation workers struggling to make ends meet.

ABC’s 7.30 has exposed the horrendous conditions workers at Aerocare endure on a daily basis - insecure, casual work, which involves early morning and late evening split shifts. The pay and hours are so bad that workers are forced to sleep beside baggage carousels. Many of these workers live below the poverty line.
This is a concern for all aviation workers, as other companies – such as Dnata – have indicated they will use an ‘Aerocare model’ for upcoming agreements.

Transport Workers’ Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon said airport and airlines are responsible for vetting the companies they undertake to do work on their behalf.
“Workers are struggling on slave wages and sleeping on bed rolls because they have to spend long days at work to support their families. They are terrified of raising concerns because the bosses are standing over them warning them against complaints,” Sheldon said.
“This is being allowed to happen because airports and airlines are outsourcing work to low cost companies and not giving a damn about the workers in their supply chains that it affects.”

Caption: An example of some of the conditions Aerocare employees are subject to
This is a race-to-the bottom and should be a wake-up call to all Australian workers. Not a single day goes by where one company, or another has been found to be exploiting its workers, often outside the bounds of the law.
“Employers are gaming the system in a similar way to how they avoid paying tax. The Government has utterly failed to protect working families and has left them to the ravages of corporate greed. We will fight for dignity and fairness for aviation workers,” he said.
To help us spread the word on these atrocious conditions, you can print out this leaflet at this link and hand out on work sites.


  • Aerocare Disgrace Reveals Systematic Corporate Disregard For Australian Workers

    March 22

    ACTU MEDIA RELEASE, 21 March 2017
    Australians are rightly horrified at the extreme working conditions being imposed on Aerocare workers, who play a crucial role at our major airports to ensure the journeys of thousands of travellers are comfortable and smooth every day.

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  • Footage Shows Third World Conditions For Workers At Australia's Airports

    March 21

    TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 21 March 2017

    The Transport Workers’ Union is demanding that airports and airlines are held to account after appalling conditions for workers have been revealed, including staff forced to sleep at the airport.

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  • Airport Staff Sleeping In 'Third World' Conditions Inside Sydney Airport

    March 21

    SMH, by Mario Christodoulou & Anna Patty, 21 March 2017
    Aviation workers are sleeping on makeshift beds amid squalid conditions in the bowels of Sydney International Airport while they wait for their next shift.

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  • Airport Workers Speak Out About Poor Work Conditions

    March 21

    ABC 7.30, by James Thomas, 20 March 2017
    Airport workers speak out about poor work conditions, including split shifts forcing workers to sleep at the airport terminal, which they say are threatening the safety of passengers.

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  • Aerocare 2017 Agreement Update

    March 16

    Issue Number 2, February 24 2017

    The TWU had its second meeting with Aero-Care management on February 23 to continue negotiations for a new Agreement. Greg Shelley, General Manager, Employee Relations; and an Employer Relations consultant Dan Houlihan represented Aerocare.Shane O’Brien, National Director of Aviation and Therese Walton, National Industrial Officer represented the TWU.

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