Workers in the Qantas supply chain struggle on casual hours, part-time work and split shifts, forcing them to sleep at the airports. Ground handling company Aerocare contracts to Qantas and has been exposed over these working conditions. The Fair Work Commission three weeks ago slammed Aerocare’s latest enterprise agreement because of its illegal split shifts and below award rates.
“It shows how the system is clearly broken when the Qantas CEO can earn $25 million while workers wearing the Qantas uniform struggle to pay basic bills. Some of these workers are even forced to endure the indignity of having to sleep in their cars and on makeshift bedding between shifts. Qantas is making profits because of this exploitation and must take responsibility for these working conditions,” said TWU Acting National Secretary Michael Kaine.
“Safety and security at airports is also at risk because of cost-cutting and under-staffing. Fatigue and under-resourcing is leading to high injury rates and safety breaches. High turn-over rates also means less experienced, well-trained aviation staff who can spot potential terrorism threats. Meanwhile our Federal Government stands idly by and allows this to occur,” he added.
A survey of aviation workers shows 42% are on part-time hours while 76% said they would not be able to afford to retire at 65.
Today 92% of Jetstar cabin crew voted to reject an enterprise agreement that would have reduced conditions. In Qantas Ground Services almost 100% employees are part-time. Qantas international cabin crew are on a two-tiered system that pays some cabin crew less than half the money for performing the same work. Qantas recently tried to cut staff pay at Q Catering by downgrading their positions while still getting them to perform the same work. Staff fought the cuts with the support of the TWU and won.