AUF supports Australian and International Pilots Association's call of no confidence in Jetstar CEO

Release date: 24/08/2010

The Australian Aviation Unions Federation (AUF) has supported the Australian and International Pilots Association’s call of no confidence in Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan as the airline moves to bring in overseas pilots at cut-price wages.

The AUF represents 20,000 employees across the industry and is made up of the Transport Worker’s Union (TWU), Flight Attendants Association of Australia (Domestic & Regional Division) (FAAA) and the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers (ALAEA).

The TWU’s national airline official, Scott Connolly, said the airline was intent on cutting the wages and conditions of all employees in the aviation industry in an attempt to undermine community rates of pay.

“When you compare the profits the Qantas group of companies is making, this will save only pennies but goes against the very fabric of Australian society,” Mr Connolly said.

“The Qantas group of companies has a brand that is so powerful because it is uniquely Australian, and this sort of action will do nothing to improve that. The workforce has invested their time and commitment in making the flying kangaroo what it is today, and we must work to protect that brand.”

FAAA Domestic and Regional Secretary, Jo Ann Davidson, said the airlines were stepping onto a slippery slope that could have companies using countries with poor labour standards in order to save money.

“We do not want the airline industry going down a path like shipping companies did with their so-called “flags of convenience,” Ms Davidson said.

 “If Jetstar is allowed to bring in Pilots for cheap, will they then ship in flight attendants, baggage handlers and check in staff to save money? That can’t be allowed to happen.

ALAEA Federal Secretary Steve Purvinas said his members had seen the product of work being done in overseas conditions that did not meet Australian standards.

“Our engineers have seen planes where bolts are falling off and substandard work is being performed,” Mr Purvinas said.

“Companies think they can move overseas and hide their shortcuts but our concern, especially in our industry, is that it is dangerous and putting lives at risk.”

Further comment is available. Please call Seth Tenkate on 0408 463 199.

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