TWU requests urgent meeting with Qantas over flu

Release date: 27/04/2009

Following concerns raised by workers at the airport, the Transport Workers Union will be calling for an urgent meeting with Qantas and other airlines to discuss what systems are in place to protect employees as a new strain of swine flu is reported to be within reach of Australian shores.

TWU federal secretary, Tony Sheldon, today said reports of 1800 infections across the globe was causing concern among the workforce and that Qantas and other airlines needed to act immediately to reduce the risk of infections reaching Australia.

“We are seeking an urgent meeting with Qantas and other airlines to see what systems they will put in place to protect its workforce, along with the rest of the country,” Mr Sheldon said.

“We have already seen a swift response from Government but we need to see airlines also making an effort. Qantas and other airlines don’t have in place an adequate policy to deal with employees in these situations, even after we had requested this following the bird flu scare.

“The quick spread of the swine flu puts people at an immediate health risk which is
potentially life-threatening. We want airport employees to be guaranteed they can access immediate testing if they have come in contact with the virus.

“Airline operations are at the frontline of our country’s border security, and we want to ensure that all staff, and therefore the Australian public, is confident that our national airlines are acting in a way which protects our shores from this outbreak,” Mr Sheldon said.

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