The Federal Government must act urgently to save aviation as Qantas reports a massive loss today, airports plea for help and workers continue to struggle, the Transport Workers’ Union has said.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said a national plan was needed to save jobs and help struggling businesses.
“The shocking Qantas losses are an indication of just how sick our industry is. It must surely be only a matter of time before Qantas follows Virgin in requesting help from the Federal Government to stay alive. Our airports are also in danger of collapsing and are pleading for assistance on a daily basis. The Federal Government needs to meet aviation businesses, airports and workers right now to work out a plan of action to stop aviation hitting a wall,” said Kaine.
“Workers like businesses are also struggling. Qantas and Virgin workers are facing redundancies while thousands of workers at companies like Dnata shut out of Jobkeeper continue to struggling on little or no income. The aviation industry cannot go on limping along like this with an entirely uncertain future. The longer the Government delays a plan the greater the chance that jobs and businesses might not be saved. We need a strong aviation industry in place to power our economy when it begins to recover,” he added.
Aviation workers have endorsed a national plan they want the Federal Government to implement which would see it take a greater role in regulating the industry, including: equity stakes for struggling businesses; ensuring workers are paid the same rate for the same work; making safety a number one priority; ensuring all airport workers stood down have access to Jobkeeper; and capping CEO pay.
A survey from May shows 70% of aviation workers have been stood down from their jobs with almost 40% stating they have no income. Over 1,000 cabin crew, airline caterers, cleaners, baggage handlers, ramp workers, security officials, refuellers and drivers responded to the survey with almost 30% stating they have had to access their superannuation to get by. Almost half of respondents are worried they won’t be able to support their families throughout the crisis while 20% say they are worried they will lose their house.