November 9, 2020


Aviation workers visited Canberra today to urge Parliament to pass motions setting up an inquiry into the survival of the aviation industry and calling for a halt to the outsourcing of 2,500 Qantas workers.

The motions will go before the Senate on Monday afternoon with the aim of saving jobs and businesses throughout the industry. Workers are hopeful that the inquiry into the aviation industry will also scrutinise policy decisions made by Government and airline executives which have cost workers their jobs. The motion on Qantas’s outsourcing follows a similar motion in the NSW Parliament.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said aviation workers were hopeful that Parliament would stand with them and pass the motions.

“It is crucial that Parliament recognises the particular difficulties the aviation industry is in and investigates what needs to be done to save jobs and businesses. This is not an industry that can be allowed to die yet that is what we are facing since the Federal Government has no plan, no policy and no strategy for our industry,” he said.

“The Federal Government is allowing Qantas management to take hundreds of millions in public money and then axe and outsource 2,500 Qantas workers – just so the airline can replace them with workers on lower wages and conditions. It is refusing to step in and support Virgin preferring to remain a passive observer. It is continuing to shut thousands of Dnata workers out of Jobkeeper. This stance by the Federal Government is destructive and will lead to the loss of more jobs in aviation, with serious knock-on effects for the rest of the economy. Aviation workers are hopeful Parliament can step in and give the aviation industry the support it needs,” Kaine added.

While workers visit Canberra to fight for the industry’s survival, Qantas management will be in court today appealing a Federal Court decision that it has misused Jobkeeper, by manipulating workers’ rosters in getting them to work weekends, public holidays and overtime without paying them anymore than the public wage subsidy.

Qantas, which has received over $800 million in taxpayer’s support since the pandemic began, continues to deny sick workers the right to access the sick leave they have built up. Qantas baggage handlers, ramp workers and cleaners have until November 19 to bid for their own jobs after the airline’s management announced the outsourcing of 2,500 jobs, to be replaced by workers on lower rates and conditions.

Dnata workers continue to call for the Government to include them in Jobkeeper, after Federal Government rule changes about eligibility based on their company’s structure shut them out.

Qantas revealed in its annual report recently it is paying its senior executives millions of dollars. When Qantas announced last year its CEO received $24 million pay package he was the highest paid CEO in Australia and the highest paid airline executive in the world.

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