December 21, 2023


The TWU has welcomed Virgin’s announcement to insource 40 ramp jobs in its international operations across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane airports, a decision which will enhance job security for workers and allow for upskilling of current Virgin ground crew.

The announcement follows workers’ claim in July this year on Virgin’s owners Bain Capital to commit to a five-point plan, including respect, an employee share scheme, and insourcing.

Ground crew workers recently brought the airline to the table on fairer pay and safer conditions, correcting a decline in standards following Virgin’s administration.

Virgin has since also committed to insourcing more ground handling jobs with Link Airways flights between Sydney and Canberra.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said Virgin’s approach was a welcome change from Qantas’ method of shifting its workforce to subsidiaries and external companies on lower pay and conditions.

“This welcome announcement by Virgin to insource more jobs stands in stark contrast to Qantas’ approach of illegal outsourcing and pushing of workers to lower-paid, more insecure work.”

“We need to return to a model in aviation where skilled and experienced workers actually want to stay in this industry – this announcement, following the sensible plan put to Bain Capital by workers this year, is movement towards that model.”

“Bringing back good, secure jobs under the Virgin banner is a step in the right direction for workers, and for rebuilding aviation, after thousands were pushed out of the industry throughout the pandemic.”

“We need a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to ensure that decisions prioritising decent standards and jobs, made in the interests of workers and the travelling public, are not the exception but the norm.”

Ground and cabin crew members at Virgin recently settled agreements providing fairer pay and job security, safer conditions and better work-life balance. Virgin pilots are still in bargaining and are pushing for similar corrections to conditions after making significant sacrifices during the pandemic.

The TWU has called for a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to rebalance and future-proof aviation through appropriate minimum standards, where good, secure jobs should be the cornerstone of the industry.

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