June 4, 2020


A shocking survey shows 70% of aviation workers have been stood down from their jobs with almost 40% stating they have no income. The survey comes as aviation workers hold rallies in all major capitals at airports and Federal Government ministers’ offices demanding: access to Jobkeeper Payment; support for Virgin as the bidding process narrows; and for the Federal Government to implement a national plan for the aviation industry (details of rallies below).

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.

Click here for survey data.

“This survey should serve as a call to action for the Federal Government as the evidence shows the extent to which aviation workers are suffering. Workers have been stood down for several months, many have been shut out of Jobkeeper Payment and have no income at all. They and their families are struggling as they have been living off annual leave and savings which are now gone. Virgin is in voluntary administration and Qantas is quickly running out of cash. Workers are worried about their income and their future, yet the Federal Government continues to provide nothing more than a wall of silence on plans for their industry,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.

A motion is due before the Senate on Wednesday June 10 with the aim of reversing the Federal Government action that has shut thousands of aviation workers, including Dnata workers, out of the Jobkeeper Payment. Meanwhile, Virgin workers are concerned about the future of the airline and Qantas workers continue to battle the airline’s refusal to pay sick leave, abuse of Jobkeeper Payment and threats to workers who raise concerns over the pandemic.

“Workers are protesting at airports and at the offices of Federal Government ministers to highlight the struggles they face. They want the Government to hear their stories and to act to save their jobs and their industry. Governments around the world are stepping in and supporting their aviation sectors. Air travel is of particular importance in Australia yet the Government is utterly directionless, with no plan and no policy,” Kaine added.

Almost 70% of workers say they are worried about losing their jobs. One worker stated that: “I live alone, and I feel vulnerable. I keep thinking of all the bills that will come in that I won’t be able to pay if Virgin Australia goes under.”

Another said: “My partner who works for a different company has also been stood down so we have gone from a relatively good monthly income to little or no income.”

Aviation workers have endorsed a national plan they want the 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.



SYDNEY: 10.30am Sydney Airport T2 departures. Speakers: Tony Burke MP, Tanya Plibersek MP, Matt Thistlethwaite MP, Senator Tony Sheldon.

Watch live on Facebook: @TWUNSW

Media contact: Judith Crosbie 0432 552 895


MELBOURNE: 10.30am Josh Frydenberg’s office, 695 Burke Rd, Camberwell.

Watch live on Facebook: @TWUVicTas

Media contact: Nellie Metcalfe 0475055414


BRISBANE: 10am press conference at Brisbane Airport. Speakers Jim Chalmers MP, Anika Wells MP

Watch live on Facebook: @TWUQLD

Media contact: Tom Millroy 0411875910


ADELAIDE: 10am, Adelaide Airport, with drive-by protest around airport precinct. Spesker: Senator Alex Gallacher

Watch live on Facebook: @twusantbranch

Media contact: Josh Boughey 0439064572


PERTH: 1pm Michaelia Cash’s office, 44 Outram St, West Perth.

Watch live on Facebook: @twuwa

Media contact: Eloyise Braskic 0499937644

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