“The Lord Mayor is clearly interested in getting rid of jobs in Australia rather than creating them. Allowing foreign airlines to operate domestically is a ludicrous notion which will see a further degrading of the aviation industry and more exploitation of overseas workers,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
The aviation industry will suffer if cabotage is applied since working conditions are already poor. A survey of airport workers shows 42% are on part-time hours while 76% said they would not be able to afford to retire at 65*. The TWU has previously highlighted cases of Thai flight attendants employed by Jetstar who were paid as little as $257 per month.
The local economy will also not benefit if an exploitative model pursuing a race to the bottom is adopted. Around 30 per cent of international students and backpackers are earning just $12 an hour, about half the minimum wage, according to a survey published in November by the University of New South Wales and the University of Technology Sydney.
“It is unclear who will benefit from what the Lord Mayor is calling for. This may be beneficial to big business whose business model is exploitation of workers but it is not in the interests of Darwin or the country as a while,” Sheldon added.
* The Qantas Effect: the changing nature of aviation employment: www.twu.com.au/the-qantas-effect/