The court after just a few sitting hours threw out the substandard 2017 agreement, which sought to rip off already low-paid workers by up to $1,100 per month.
“The Fair Work Commission and the Federal Court have thrown out an agreement which sought to steal from thousands of workers. Yet Aerocare employees are already working on even worse wages and conditions as per the current agreement. The rules are clearly broken as they have allowed this to happen. The system desperately needs to be changed,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
“Will the Federal Government, the airports and the airlines now hold Aerocare to account? Or will they continue to defend its practices and profit from the economic slavery its staff are subject to?” Sheldon asked.
Last August the Fair Work Commission rejected the 2017 agreement because of its low rates, split shifts, and because casual workers were excluded from voting. Aerocare subsequently appealed to the Federal Court.
“Aerocare workers working split shifts are working up to 18 hours a day but are paid for less than half that. People are scared that if they raise their voices there will be recriminations for themselves and others,” said a former Aerocare worker.
Aerocare last year was exposed after footage showed staff were forced to sleep at airports. Since then more information has emerged including:
- High injury rates among staff. At Sydney International Airport there were 132 injury incidents among a staff of 326 over a one-year period.
- Security incidents, including passengers at Perth airport being allowed airside to collect their baggage after a baggage handler was left alone to unload an entire aircraft
- Staff being forced back to work while still injured
- Aerocare managers accompanying injured staff into doctors’ surgeries during appointments
Aerocare is operating under a substandard 2012 agreement but recently forced a new agreement on its workforce. The new agreement, like previous Aerocare’s agreements, includes:
- No more than 60 hours guaranteed a month (no weekly guarantee)
- Below award rates for weekends, Good Friday, Christmas, etc
- Split shifts, which are precluded under the award
Click here for info on Aerocare breaches: http://www.twu.com.au/aerocare-breaches/