“Today’s Qantas results, as Alan Joyce pointed out, is down to hard-working employees who have made many sacrifices to get the airline back to profit. In order to retain the professionalism and dedication of this workforce, which serves passengers so well, Qantas must now share the good results and provide decent, full-time jobs,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
Employees within the Qantas group are struggling with many guaranteed no more than 20 hours a week. Jetstar employees at the weekend voted to reject an agreement which would have impoverished many. Qantas announced today that Jetstar’s half year profits of $262 million were bigger than the best ever full-year results.
“Jetstar forced a vote on its employees, some of whom are guaranteed as little as $443. The agreement would have locked them into a 4-year low wage deal. I am calling on Qantas to end this stranglehold on aviation jobs and to stop forcing working families to struggle. They simply can’t pay full-time bills with part-time wages,” Sheldon added.
The TWU is also negotiating a new agreement for Qantas Ground Services employees, whose concerns mirror many of those at Jetstar.
Up to 80% of ground services jobs are part time. Those guaranteed 20 hours a week have a take-home pay of $443 and those guaranteed 30 hours have a take-home pay of $665. The national minimum wage is $656 per week.
During negotiations Jetstar management:
· refused to align job classifications along with others comparable in the industry
· offered a minimal towing allowance and training allowance that would not be payable to 96% of their workforce
· attempted to lock in 6-day working weeks without penalty rates for part time workers
Last December, the TWU was forced to apply to the Fair Work Commission for good faith bargaining orders against Jetstar in response to suggestions by Jetstar that it would ground the airline, similar to the 2011 action of its parent company Qantas.
Qantas Ground Services (QGS)
There are no full-time jobs at QGS with many workers guaranteed no more than 20 hours a week with remuneration of just $509
A survey by the TWU of aviation employees shows two out of five are working part time on wages which puts many of them earning below the poverty line. Almost 70% of employees say their pay does not allow them to meet their costs while over three-quarters say they cannot afford to retire at 65. The information is contained in the report, The Qantas effect: the changing nature of aviation employment.