Fair Work Australia Will Decide On Outsourcing Agenda For All Australian Workers

Release date: 26/03/2012

As Fair Work Australia hears the first day of full testimony it must decide whether the agenda by militant management to outsource and undercut Qantas is allowed to trump the rights of workers to enjoy fair job security and decent pay and conditions. That’s according to Tony Sheldon, National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union.

Tony was speaking today, March 26th, from the offices of Fair Work Australia in Sydney as the first day of substantive hearing (presentation of evidence, witnesses and submissions) commenced in case B2011/3993 Transport Workers' Union of Australia v Qantas and Q Catering.  

“Today is the first day of full testimony from the Transport Workers Union, representing workers at Qantas and Q Catering. The full bench will hear testimony, in court and in sworn evidence from dozens of Qantas employees, economic experts and senior union delegates testifying as to the conditions at Qantas. Our case will show in detail the agenda from senior management to hollow out an Australian icon, to outsource work currently undertaken by Qantas employees.”  

“This court will hear testimony from Qantas workers around the country. It will hear of the freeze on skills training for existing Qantas staff while the company continues its outsourcing agenda. Worker after worker will testify of morale at an all time low as a result of being vilified and isolated by management. It will be told of real and serious security breaches at our nations airports as a result of expanded use of outsourced labour.”  

“Our case is built around the direct experience of workers, thousands of whom have served loyally with Qantas for decades, whose livelihoods are under threat from a management who have no stake in a secure future for Qantas. A management that is determined to outsource every job to shift growth to Jetstar Asia. This is a management responsible for locking out their staff, stranding 90,000 passengers, tarnishing the brand of an Australian icon and treating their 35,000 workers with disdain.”  

“At every juncture workplace representatives have been willing to reach a fair resolution which allows Qantas to remain a great Australian company and ensures that workers can enjoy job security, safe working conditions and fair wages. The workforce is proud to have delivered multi million dollar profits for Qantas every year since the changed structure in the 1980s. Our claim on behalf of our Qantas members is neither excessive nor aggressive. We have not made a claim on behalf of our members for a 71% wage increase like Chief Executive Alan Joyce did last year. We have not made any faulty claims for productivity increases like the board of management, which was responsible for the disastrous Asia strategy. In fact, we recently submitted a simplified, amended claim to FWA attempting to reduce the scope of the case to be decided upon by the court.”  

Tony Sheldon concluded, “The decision on the future of Qantas is now in the hands of the full bench of Fair Work Australia. If we want Qantas to remain in operation, the court must reject the agenda of militant management to outsource and undercut Australian community standards.”  


For further information, please contact:  Barry Dunning, Press Officer, TWU, Tel: 0408 463 199, email:  


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