Qantas is forcing its own workforce to bail it out, as it stands them down and seizes future leave balances that are yet to be accrued, says the Transport Workers Union.
It means when the airline returns to profitability, its share price will soar and executives will return to massive bonuses on the back of workers sacrificing their entitlements.
“The Qantas announcement today amounts to workers bailing out the airline,” Kaine said. “This plan is designed to wipe the slate clean on all worker entitlements, including long-service leave and accrued benefits. Astoundingly, Qantas even wants to reach into the future and grab as yet unearned leave entitlement.”
“This will set the company up for a massive boost when the crisis is over, which will see shares go through the roof and executives back to massive bonuses. Meanwhile workers will have lost the benefits that many worked so hard to build up,”
“Qantas is not putting a cent forward of the reserves and equity it has built up to ensure workers maintain their pay and keep the leave they have built up, many to assist their retirement. They are shifting the entire burden of the impact of the coronavirus onto the workforce in a deal no doubt cooked up with the Federal Government, which has this week refused to meet workers and their representatives,” said Kaine.
“Qantas has serious questions to answer, including how many workers will be forced to take unpaid leave and whether the airline will credit workers’ their leave back when the crisis abates” Kaine added.