The TWU has vowed to fight an appeal for the 2,000 Qantas workers axed and outsourced by Qantas in a move which the Federal Court found to be illegal for its motivations to prevent workers bargaining and taking possible industrial action.
At close of business yesterday, Qantas lodged an application for leave to appeal the decision, something the airline’s lawyers have attempted to use to delay remedy hearings for reinstatement and compensation of the unlawfully sacked workers. The next remedy hearing will take place tomorrow.
A recent TWU survey of outsourced workers showed three quarters have been unable to secure full-time work since they were sacked and 77% want their jobs back.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the union will not give up this fight for justice.
“Workers have been to hell and back because of Qantas’s cruelty, which it is adamant to drag out as long as possible. Qantas management have teetered on the edge of the law throughout the pandemic. This time, the airline has been categorically found to have crossed that line. Rather than funding an expensive appeal with the $2b taxpayer cash it has received, Qantas should get on with the urgent task of reinstating and compensating the loyal workers it illegally pushed out the door.
“More than 1650 people have signed a letter calling on the Qantas board to drop plans to appeal and give workers their jobs back. If the board truly has the airline’s best interests at heart, it should reinstate the highly skilled workers who’ve built the trusted brand.
“While the board and the Federal Government have remained silent, workers have been forced to fight a powerful corporate dictator with pockets full of taxpayer funding and no intention of using it for the purpose it was intended. Qantas’ own documents revealed fears of Federal Government repercussions for axing workers after receiving bailouts, but you could hear a pin drop in the Prime Minister’s office,” he said.
The TWU has called for the Federal Government to take an equity stake in Qantas after the airline’s $1.73 billion losses reported last month showed it will require more taxpayer bailouts.