The TWU has slammed an underlying pre-tax profit of $2.5 billion at Qantas after its essential workforce was splintered, including through illegal outsourcing, across 38 entities and labour hire providers.
Workers are calling on Federal Parliament to urgently pass upcoming reform to close labour hire loopholes that have been exploited by Qantas to rip away good, secure jobs and replace them with lower-paid part-time, casual, and labour hire jobs.
Qantas received $2.7 billion in taxpayer funding from the Morrison Government during the pandemic. This included $856 million in JobKeeper to retain employees, yet Qantas’ 2021 financial report stated 9,400 jobs had been lost, exceeding a previous estimate of 8,500.
The High Court of Australia will soon hand down its decision following two Federal Court rulings that Qantas illegally outsourced 1700 workers to avoid collective bargaining and possible Protected Industrial Action.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said posting a $2.5 billion profit is shameful after Qantas management’s deliberate attacks on workers have caused significant harm to hardworking families and its own customers.
“This is $2.5 billion of dirty money reaped from illegal outsourcing, overzealous redundancies, price-gouging, hoarding cancellation refunds, and the decimation of service standards.
“Qantas owes a great debt to the Australian public. Every dollar of profit reported today should refund the public purse. If Qantas won’t pay it back, it should at the very least return quality jobs and service standards to the once-trusted airline.
“A so-called ‘sale’ is yet another con job from Qantas management. A smoke and mirrors attempt to soften the blow of eye-watering profit, which Australians will see right through following sky-high airfares and rock-bottom standards.
“The only reward for the employees that keep Qantas going, aside from a year-old announcement of a share scheme and bonus bribe attached to accepting wage freeze deals, is a $500 staff travel credit. A benefit that thousands of workers operating Qantas planes will not receive as their jobs are outsourced to subsidiaries or labour hire firms.
“This report is no cause for celebration, but should be cause for every Federal Parliamentarian to commit to closing labour hire loopholes. Outsourcing good, secure jobs to 17 lower-paying subsidiaries and 21 external companies to send profits roaring into the multi-billions is as far from the fair go as you can get.
“Aviation has spiralled out of control. We need an independent Safe and Secure Skies Commission to oversee and rebalance the industry with appropriate standards and caps on executive pay.”