February 24, 2022


Today’s half-year results forecasting Qantas will have a strong recovery and reach around 75% capacity by the end of 2022 shows the airline’s illegal outsourcing and attacks on workers under the cover of covid were unwarranted and must be stopped by the board, says the TWU.

Poor management decisions have already led to a deteriorating safety record, with the TWU warning recovery will be further impeded by considerable loss of skill and reputational damage if the Qantas board does not act to stop management driving out experienced workers.

The results are shared as two days of full bench Federal Court appeal hearings open over the airline’s illegal axing of ground crew. Qantas is attempting to overturn July’s decision that the outsourcing breached the Fair Work Act due to its motivations to prevent workers bargaining and taking industrial action.

The bench will also hear a reinstatement appeal brought by the TWU who will argue workers getting their jobs back is the only way to stop Qantas succeeding at breaking the law.

Outsourced workers had gone through stand-downs and were receiving JobKeeper while Qantas proceeded to sack them in 2020 and early 2021, despite a Federal Court case looming.

The boost to performance of international borders reopening in February shows Qantas’ attempt to dissolve its agreement with cabin crew – slashing pay by 40-60% which three quarters say would force them to find new jobs – is a greedy grab which will harm the business.

In August, full-year results showed Qantas paid over $13m in base salary to six executives while one in eight international cabin crew had to leave their homes, revealed in a recent survey.

“It’s time for the Qantas board to call off the dogs. The vicious attacks from the executive team throughout the last two years were clearly opportunistic and entirely unwarranted.

“Workers have been forced to bear the brunt of the pandemic while Qantas has exploited covid as cover to illegally sack workers and hack away at their pay.

“The results today show Qantas expects capacity to bounce back this year, but it will do so under a tarnished brand and with a diminished safety record due to its cruel and calculated attacks on hardworking families and mass exodus of experienced workers.

“While Qantas is blowing its own trumpet today, it is taxpayers who have kept the airline afloat despite the appalling behaviour of management. Morrison unwaveringly splashed our nation’s cash with no commitments to jobs or a guaranteed return on investment. His poor judgement has cost us a once-great national airline and left us with a corporate dictatorship and a dispirited workforce – that is, what’s left of them.

“The TWU has held Qantas to account and will continue to do so today in the Federal Court alongside the brave workers taking on a powerful company the Prime Minister is too afraid to touch,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.



  • Qantas has today announced 20,000 employees will receive rights to 1,000 shares for August 2023 if recovery goes to plan.
  • At the current share price, this values those shares at over $100 million, with Qantas predicting the share price will rise between now and then.
  • Qantas asserted the amount they’d save by outsourcing ground crew would be $100 million a year.

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