Release date: 30/09/2009

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has called on staff in the Department and Finance and Regulation to implement government policy and not allow providers with a poor history of human rights; including social, community and employment practices, to receive work from whole-of-government airline contracts.

TWU national secretary, Tony Sheldon, said following the July announcement by the Federal Government to adopt a policy of procurement where workers’ rights are protected in the logistics sector, department bureaucrats were bound to apply those rules to government contracts.

“Back July 28 2009, the Federal Government announced that they would have a policy of not giving government contracts to companies who don’t meet model employer guidelines,” Mr Sheldon said.

“Reports in today’s media that the actions of Jetstar, a Qantas subsidiary, show an Australian company aiding a military dictatorship by providing air services to Burma. This is a country where the government is noted for its lack of human and employment rights.

“The Australian government has restrictions on travel by senior regime figures, their associates and supporters as well as a ban on defence exports to Burma. I would hope that an Australian company is not undermining Australia’s efforts against a country the International Labour Organization has accused of forced-labour practices.

“This half-billion dollar tender closes in a few short weeks so it is critically important that the current guidelines of “Lowest Practical Fare” be reviewed, as all-too-often the lowest fare can carry the highest price to the wider community.

“The Qantas group of companies has also outsourced work to the lowest bidder in Australian contracts, undermining the benefits paid to hard-working Australian families who have made the company so great.

“Vying for Australian government contracts are other airlines who are owned and run by the same governments that stone people to death as part of their justice system. We must make sure that Australian taxpayers money is not used to oppress access to justice in other countries,” Mr Sheldon said.

Media Contact: Seth Tenkate 0408 463 199.

All Media Items Share This