TWU

Threat To QLD Airspace, QANTAS Deal Angers TWU

Release date: 8/07/2015

TWU QLD MEDIA RELEASE, 8 July 2015

QLD aviation workers are being attacked with a raw deal offered by Qantas in pay and conditions at the same time the Abbott Government threatens their jobs, proposing that overseas airlines compete for QLD airspace.

“The Transport Workers’ Union stands by our aviation workers 100 percent - and this threat is basically outsourcing to overseas in our own country, in our own state, compromising aviation safety standards for Queenslanders and taking jobs off Queenslanders,” TWU QLD Secretary Peter Biagini said.

The Abbott government’s deregulation proposal means that QLD airline routes north of the line of Capricorn will be put up for grabs by low cost overseas operators who will be able to fly their own aircraft and use their own staff employed on third world rates.

“You also need to ask the question how safe are you in the sky in terms of where these aircraft are maintained?” Mr Biagini asked.

“In addition you are opening the door to companies like Qatar Airlines, who sacked women for being pregnant and have been found by the International Labour Organisation to breach international rules.

“Abbott is attacking QLD first but why would he stop here if he is successful? This outsourcing could spread through Australia and kill off our aviation industry once and for all.

“The TWU will fight any attempts by Abbott to put in place his deregulation that will take jobs from QLD workers.

“The deregulation will also kill off our state’s aviation industry with other airlines collapsing like QLD owned Skytrans did when Campbell Newman’s LNP took their contract off them.”

Qantas deal outrage Mr Biagini also spoke out against Qantas’ latest attempt to deprive QLD aviation workers of better wages and conditions. The company has offered a 5% one off bonus for workers who agree to accept a pay freeze.

“QLD aviation workers are already fighting to survive, with 74% of aviation workers saying that their income does not cover the cost of living,” he said.

In QLD, Qantas has already retrenched full time employees who prepare the airline’s food at Q Catering to replace them with workers on a lesser rate of pay.

Australia wide Qantas is slashing 5000 full time jobs to get out of paying workers a proper living wage.

“Our members’ bills are full time, not part time and they need secure jobs with adequate hours to survive and feed their families,” Mr Biagini said.

“The TWU stands by our members in aviation, on the ground and in the sky and without baggage handlers, caterers, cleaners and crew we can safely say that no plane would leave the tarmac,” he concluded.

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