'Open Skies' Is Declaration of War on Australian Aviation Industry, Says TWU

Release date: 25/05/2015

The Government is declaring war on the Australian aviation industry by considering allowing foreign carriers to operate domestically. This move would potentially replace tens of thousands of Australian jobs by exploited, under paid and poorly trained overseas workers. 


“Last year saw Australia’s two main carriers end a capacity war which had wrecked havoc on both airlines’ workforces.

At Qantas it resulted in 5,000 job cuts which have been replaced by part-time/casual jobs. We do not need a new war on this front,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
“Public safety is also at issue”, he said. “We need to protect the Australian public who will be well aware of the hundreds of people who died in airline crashes in the last year on foreign carriers. Australia has an excellent record in aviation safety, does the Government really want to see that compromised?” Sheldon added.
Conditions are already bad with 21% of aviation workers earning below the poverty line. Lowering conditions even further is simply not sustainable. “Australian workers have fulltime Australian bills to pay. They currently cannot live on the part time wages they are forced to accept in aviation and they certainly would not be able to live on the wages the Government is considering importing into our country. This move is therefore morally reprehensible,” Sheldon added.

“We are currently discussing this issue with our cabin crew and other aviation members. We will be looking at the full rang of options available to us to ensure jobs and income security are protected,” Sheldon said.

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