November 9, 2020


TWU has welcomed Senate motions setting up an inquiry into the survival of the aviation industry and calling for a halt to the outsourcing of 2,500 Qantas workers.

Both motions passed the Senate this afternoon after aviation workers visited Canberra to urge politicians to back them.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the Senate’s move has given aviation workers hope for their futures.

“Thousands of aviation workers have been stood down from their jobs for months and the Federal Government has no plan to ensure they can get back to their jobs. With these motions we hope to see a strategy put into place reflecting the crisis aviation is in and what needs to be done to rescue it,” he said.

“The Senate has taken the unusual move of condemning a company over its treatment of its workers. We hope Qantas management will listen to the Senate and halt the outsourcing its 2500 baggage handlers, ramp works and cleaners. We look forward to seeing senior executives in aviation hauled up before the Senate to explain the decisions they have made, including the Qantas move against workers which will affect workers but also the airline’s standards on service, safety and security,” Kaine added.

“Over a billion dollars in public money has been spent to keep the aviation industry afloat since the pandemic began. The Federal Government has failed to tie any conditions to that money and CEOs continue to pay themselves millions while workers are losing their jobs. Meanwhile Rex is able to purchase planes to take on Virgin. The no strings attached corporate welfare for the aviation industry must end. Public money must be used to benefit the entire community and ensure a healthy industry,” he added.

Qantas, which has received over $800 million in taxpayer’s support since the pandemic began, today appealed to the Federal Court to allow it to continue to misuse Jobkeeper, by manipulating workers’ rosters in getting them to work weekends, public holidays and overtime without paying them anymore than the public wage subsidy.

Qantas also continues to deny sick workers the right to access the sick leave they have built up. Qantas baggage handlers, ramp workers and cleaners have until November 19 to bid for their own jobs after the airline’s management announced the outsourcing of 2,500 jobs, to be replaced by workers on lower rates and conditions.

Dnata workers continue to call for the Government to include them in Jobkeeper, after Federal Government rule changes about eligibility based on their company’s structure shut them out.

Qantas revealed in its annual report recently it is paying its senior executives millions of dollars. When Qantas announced last year its CEO received $24 million pay package he was the highest paid CEO in Australia and the highest paid airline executive in the world.

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