August 25, 2022


The TWU is calling for the Federal Government to establish a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to prioritise decent, secure aviation jobs as Alan Joyce makes empty promises to frustrated passengers and announces more tactics to silence workers and suppress wages.

Qantas announced today it predicts on-time performance to rebound to 80 per cent in October without any plan to lift wages or create more secure, full-time jobs through its contracts with labour hire companies struggling to recruit workers into essential ground handling positions.

Qantas’ reputation has plummeted along with its service standards following the illegal sacking and outsourcing of its entire ground, baggage and cleaning crews. Qantas refused to reinstate the workers and has asked untrained office staff to work in airports.

The TWU has slammed Qantas’ claims it is investing in employees with more tactics like discretionary staff travel benefits that silence workers from speaking out about serious workplace issues including safety.

Qantas’ claim workers are earning on average over $100,000 paints an entirely false picture. Qantas Ground Services workers are currently on a base salary of less than half this figure at $45,157.

The deception that Qantas has invested in higher wages in FY23 enterprise agreements is another form of trickery. Workers have faced threats of outsourcing, agreement terminations and payment bribes to pressure them into accepting two-year wage freezes followed by just 2% increases, far below the cost of living.

Qantas today announced positive cash flow of $2.67 billion, but refuses to invest in its workforce.

The TWU has called for the resignation of Qantas CEO Alan Joyce over illegal outsourcing, poor performance and reputational damage to the brand.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said we need a regulatory body to ensure privatised airlines and airports prioritise secure jobs and quality service over tactics to drive up the share price with gimmicks and unethical behaviour.

“No one wants to see airlines making losses, but they do want to see them being responsible. That’s not how Joyce-led Qantas – which has methodically smashed working conditions and service standards – has been run for years.

“Nowhere in these results, in the phony apology earlier this week, or throughout the months of cancellations, delays and lost luggage has Qantas management announced a plan to return good quality jobs and experienced workers to the airports. Customers can’t have any faith in today’s empty promises that performance will rebound by October. Instead, we’re facing a catastrophic Christmas of delays, diversions and cancellations.

“If Qantas management really valued its employees, it would actually invest in them by insourcing essential jobs and lifting wages and conditions without strings attached. Instead, the conveyer belt keeps turning with tactics and trickery to overpower staff and widen the gap between workers performing essential jobs at airports and executives in penthouse office suites enjoying wellness days while airports are in chaos.

“Qantas’ results demonstrate that a Safe and Secure Skies Commission is critical to stabilise aviation so that it can weather the future storms the industry will face. We need to reset and return aviation to the industry it once was – one workers and passengers could rely on.”

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