The TWU says Qantas’ announcement to hire new pilots and cabin crew won’t replace the decades of experience lost when management used the cover of covid to gut the workforce and pay people less to do the same jobs.
In 2020, Qantas’ overzealous redundancies saw 300 of the most experienced pilots vacate the airline, many of whom also held check and training duties authorised by CASA.
Qantas is attempting to bring back cabin crew on lower pay and conditions than they previously had at the airline, an echo of the inferior jobs advertised in Qantas Freight shortly after illegally sacking nearly 1700 ground crew to pay people less to do the same work.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said: “Rebuilding aviation will take more than an announcement of inferior jobs but requires a return of experienced workers to the terms and conditions which were deliberately culled through Joyce-led management’s opportunistic approach to covid.
“Unless there is a meaningful shift in ideology and strategy under a new management team, Qantas will never return to the airline it once was. The Spirit of Australia was built by workers who held sought-after careers at Qantas, but those workers are gone and jobs are now lower-paid and insecure.
“After $2.7 billion of taxpayer funding and a $1.4 billion half-year profit, the airline should be back to full capacity and airfares at pre-covid prices, but that is impossible with a decimated and inexperienced workforce.
“Customers, workers and the taxpaying public have a right to be angry. Alan Joyce should recognise and respond to that anger, rather than denying, defending and attempting to distract from the atrocious behaviour of management under his leadership.
“This is not a time for plaudits for rehiring new workers on inferior terms and conditions to fill decimated jobs, but a time for apology and action to reinstate workers and return pay and conditions to those that kept workers in jobs for life.
“We need the Federal Government to establish a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to keep profit-mad airline and airport executives in check and prioritise good, secure jobs and quality service.”