November 16, 2020


Aviation workers will take action around the country on Monday to mark Qantas’s 100th year anniversary as the company prepares the outsource all of its 2,500 ground workers.

Workers will be calling on the Federal Government to do more to ensure the survival of the aviation industry given the continued job losses.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said aviation workers are protesting because they feel let down by the Government:

“Today should be a day of celebration across the aviation industry as Qantas hits 100 years in operation. Instead aviation workers are worrying about how they’ll manage through Christmas and whether they’ll have jobs next year. Every day there is more bad news in our industry and workers do not believe the Federal Government is doing enough.

“Qantas workers are fighting to keep doing their jobs as the company tries to axe and outsource them, replacing them with workers on lower pay. They are fighting in court for the company to stop abusing the Jobkeeper Payment and to allow sick workers to use the leave they have built up. Dnata workers are still without Jobkeeper and are enduring 1,000 redundancies. Virgin’s future remains in the balance

“Our message today is for the Federal Government to end the ‘no strings attached corporate welfare’ and to hold the likes of Qantas to account over its moves to trash jobs. The Government must step in and also do more to support Virgin and Dnata workers as they struggle to keep their jobs.”

The Federal Government has given over a billion dollars to the aviation industry, including over a $800 million to Qantas, since the pandemic hit, with no conditions attached on retaining jobs or capping CEO salaries.

Qantas ground workers have until November 19th to submit a bid for their jobs. Swissport, which the Fair Work Commission has confirmed pay their workers below award minimums and which has been exposed over low paid workers forced to sleep at the airports, has already begun advertising for the Qantas work.

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.

Last week the TWU and the Association representing Virgin Australia Group pilots (VIPA), announced talks with the intention of moving towards amalgamation.

Also last week the Senate passed a motion setting up an inquiry into the future of the aviation industry. It is expected to look at Government and industry failings to date and set out recommendations for support into the future.

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