Release date: 24/03/2009

Transport Workers Union delegates at Sydney Airport will be meeting over the next 48 hours to consider a response to the outsourcing of work, as well as security concerns at airports across the country.

Following Sunday’s incident at Sydney airport involving a brawl, the TWU has called upon the Sydney Airport Corporation Limited (SACL) to finally act on recommendations into airport security which included training and screening for all security and other staff.
The Independent Review of Airport Security and Policing for the Government of Australia, also known as the 2005 Wheeler Report, was commissioned by and reported to the Howard Government.
TWU federal secretary, Tony Sheldon, said the Review had recommended all private security officers “be background checked, licensed, and trained to more adequate minimum national standards”.
“On the basis of what occurred on Sunday, we really have to ask what would happen if this was a major terrorist attack – this demonstrates there could be too little in place to stop it,” Mr Sheldon said.
“Private security guards and staff at the airport work in an environment where there is multiple-reporting structures – and none leads directly to the federal police.
“Privately-contracted security guards are given totally inadequate training and there is little or no coordination.  There is no clear chain of command or breakdown of responsibilities.
“The situation at the moment sees about 25 per cent of the security workforce and other labour-hire employees working in the airport not screened by ASIO. Our workforce at the airport is well aware of these problems and it is about time SACL acted on these concerns,” Mr Sheldon said.
Transport Workers Union – Seth Tenkate 0408 463 199


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