The monitoring report for 2014/15 by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission shows that while profits are up overall satisfaction with airports and airlines needs improvement.
“Airport employees and passengers are clearly suffering in this grab for profits. There needs to be investment in the people running the airport and in services for the travelling public,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
The new figures show total revenues for Sydney airport at $1.90 billion, for Melbourne $753 million, for Perth $611 million and for Brisbane $429 million. Sydney Airport recorded its highest profit margin on aeronautical services in 10 years.
Salaries and wages at Sydney were just 4% of the revenues, at Melbourne 5.7%, at Perth 9.6% and at Brisbane 5.6%.
At the same time the airline industry is also booming with Qantas recently reporting $688 million profit in the six months to December – its best ever result. The pay packs of the airline’s chief executive have also gone up – almost 500% to nearly $12 million.
Asha Waters a baggage handler with Qantas Ground Services at Sydney Airport said news about profits at the airports and airlines were being questioned by employees struggling on low wages and conditions. “We are told we can’t get any more hours and it makes life hard – starting a family, meeting weekly bills are almost impossible when you are only guaranteed 20 hours per week,” he said.
“This is about fairness and it is simply not fair to have an industry awash with money while 21% of employees earn below the poverty line. The workforce is demanding quality jobs and a decent future in this industry,” Sheldon said.