April 19, 2024


The TWU has welcomed the early arrival of John Mullen as Qantas Chairman-elect and called for Richard Goyder to take a backseat, with no time to lose to turn around the decimated airline and lift standards for jobs in its airport supply chain.

Over 15 years under Alan Joyce, Qantas splintered the workforce across 38 different entities to drive down pay and conditions. Under Goyder as Chair, this included the illegal outsourcing of 1700 workers.

Aviation has since become a revolving door of low-paid, part-time workers, and suffering service standards.

The union worked constructively with Mullen during his tenure as Chair of transport operator Toll Holdings from 2017 to 2022 and praised his open-door approach to the interests and concerns of the workforce.

Since the appointment of Chairman-elect John Mullen was announced, Qantas has shown how far there is to go to reverse the attitude towards workers.

Last month, Qantas was criminally convicted for targeting a health and safety representative at the start of the pandemic.

The airline is also attempting to reduce the compensation it must pay illegally outsourced workers by stating it would have sacked them all a few months later anyway.

TWU Acting National Assistant Secretary Emily McMillan said:

“Goyder must step back now and allow John Mullen to take the lead. Goyder and Joyce’s departures were forced upon them by worker, customer and shareholder outrage over the conduct of Qantas under their leadership.

“The appointment of John Mullen, a former Toll Holdings Chair with a fair reputation for listening to workers’ concerns, is a beacon of hope for the once-loved national carrier.

“We all want to see Qantas return to the airline it once was, but there is a mountain of work to do to return good, secure jobs to the Qantas supply chain and for those remaining in directly employed roles.

“Illegally sacked Qantas workers await a compensation decision from the Federal Court, and all eyes will be on the Qantas response. We need to see a totally different approach to that brought to the Federal Court hearing, with the airline owning up to what it has done and ensuring workers are paid fairly and as quickly as possible.”

“Speculation over the future of Bonza has shown that the aggressive competition in the aviation market is disrupting businesses, workers and customers alike. We need a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to provide independent oversight and fair standards for jobs and services in our essential aviation industry.”

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