June 25, 2021


The High Court has turned down an application by Qantas workers and their unions to hear an appeal over the airline’s abuse of the JobKeeper wage subsidy to pocket workers’ entitlements.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the High Court’s refusal to hear the case is disappointing.

“We are saddened that workers will not get the chance to appeal to the High Court to be paid back the overtime and penalty rate entitlements they’re owed by Qantas. Airport workers have been put through the ringer by Qantas management over the last year who have tested or overstepped the line of the law to rip off and axe workers in the middle of a pandemic. Rather than fighting workers in lengthy, expensive court battles, the airline should simply pay workers what they’re owed and treat them with respect.”

“While workers have held Qantas to account for their poor behaviour, the Federal Government has pumped $2 billion into the airline with no strings attached. The right thing to do would be to apply conditions that protect workers against wage theft and sackings and ensure taxpayer money isn’t spent on executive bonuses,” said Kaine.

A Federal Court ruling is pending on the outsourcing of 2,000 Qantas ground workers.

A number of serious safety breaches have been reported in Qantas’ supply chain since the ground work was outsourced, including a damaged plane which last week took off with passengers on board after being hit by a baggage vehicle.

Today’s High Court case was taken by the Transport Workers Union (TWU), the Australian Services Union (ASU) and the Flight Attendants Association of Australia (FAAA).

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