The Transport Workers’ Union has slammed Qantas’s push to relax isolation rules for aviation workers, saying the airline would rather sacrifice workers’ health than fill workforce gaps by reinstating the 2000 workers it illegal sacked.
“Public health is not about maximising Alan Joyce’s quarterly profit results,” said Michael Kaine, national secretary of TWU. “Workers need isolation rules to stay, even if that is inconvenient to Mr Joyce.
“What Mr Joyce misleadingly calls absenteeism is actually sick leave, and every Australian worker is entitled to that.”
In 2020, aviation lost 12,500 highly trained workers through redundancies and illegal outsourcing by Qantas. In July 2021, the Federal Court found Qantas illegally outsourced its ground crew to prevent them bargaining and taking industrial action.
“There are 2000 Qantas ground crew sitting at home waiting to be reinstated, after being illegally sacked so Qantas could rehire them on cheaper pay and worse conditions.
“Rather than risking the health of everyone by scrapping isolation rules, Qantas could reinstate these 2000 workers to fill the gaps in our airports.
“Qantas pocketed $865 million in JobKeeper and at the same time illegally outsourced its entire ground operations.
“Now the airline doesn’t have enough customer service workers, baggage handlers or ground staff to respond to surging demand.”