The Transport Workers’ Union is demanding that Scott Morrison explains what he knew about Qantas management’s long-term decision to axe and outsource 2,500 workers, as media reveals documents today the airline planned the move 10 years ago.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the Qantas had received $800 million support through public subsidies since the pandemic hit and it was vital that the Prime Minister revealed if he was aware of the plan to kill the jobs.
“Scott Morrison has a close connection to Qantas management and talks to them regularly so he must explain revelations that Qantas was planning the outsourcing all along. If he did know about it then why didn’t he attach conditions to Jobkeeper to ensure Qantas retains its workers, since the point of Jobkeeper is to keep the connection to workers? If he didn’t know about it then the Prime minister has been duped by Qantas management,” he said.
“The idea that Qantas management had cooked up a plan to kill and outsource the jobs of 2,500 workers 10 years ago is utterly shocking. It shows the move is part of a 10-year cynical course of conduct by senior management that explains a lot about the behaviour at the airline ever since. Qantas management’s plan to kill and outsource 2,500 workers isn’t about the pandemic, it is part of a pre-arranged plan,” Kaine said.
“This revelation on the outsourcing of Qantas’ entire ground operations exposes a senior management team out of control and targeting a group of workers. Qantas management has used the pandemic as the basis for the plan to kill and outsource its ground operations. Now that lie has been exposed with revelations that they were planning it all along. We call on Qantas management to halt its plans to outsource the jobs immediately.”
“This is management philosophy out of step with the cooperative, unselfish and community focused approach called for by the Prime Minister to deal with this pandemic. It is time for a fresh management and governance team at Qantas,” Kaine added.
The TWU last week began legal action against Qantas over plans to axe and outsource the 2,500 jobs.
The legal action centres on Qantas’ failure to consult with workers on its plan to kill their jobs and over the tendering process which has been designed to make it impossible for workers to bid for their jobs.
In documents to workers, Qantas has given workers just six weeks to make a final bid and to find $100 million labour cost savings and $80 million to fund equipment upgrades, despite the airline choosing not to do these upgrades when it made billions of dollars in profit, including $1.5 billion in profit in 2016, $1.4 billion in profit in 2017, $1.6 billion in profit in 2018 and $1.3 billion in profit in 2019. When Qantas announced its CEO received $24 million pay package he was the highest paid CEO in Australia and the highest paid airline executive in the world.