October 21, 2020


The Transport Workers’ Union has welcomed a motion by the NSW Upper House of Parliament condemning the axing and outsourcing of 2,500 workers.

Richard Olsen, TWU NSW Branch Secretary, said the support would mean a lot to Qantas workers at Sydney Airport who are fighting for their jobs.

“Qantas workers are in the fight of their lives for their jobs. The NSW Parliament has signaled to these workers that it is behind them and condemns the axing of their jobs. The hit to the local economy in Sydney and to the families of these workers through this outsourcing will be immense. This action if allowed to proceed will reverberate throughout our community and it will lower standards on service, safety and security at Qantas,” Mr Olsen said.

“Taxpayers have been ripped off and Qantas workers have been left high and dry. The Federal Government has allowed Qantas to take $800 million in public support, to abuse the Jobkeeper scheme and then to axe 2,500 jobs. Despite the Federal Government’s refusal to hold Qantas to account we are pleased the NSW Parliament has taken a firm stance on this issue,” he added.

Mark Buttigieg ALP MLC moved the motion on Qantas’s outsourcing which passed 23 to 17 votes today.

The motion states “the move to outsource will impact adversely on the workers in New South Wales since the aim of the outsourcing is to engage workers on lower rates and conditions”. It “calls on Qantas to immediately reverse its decision to outsource the jobs of the 2,500 hardworking Australians.”

The TWU has begun legal proceedings against Qantas over the outsourcing with the Fair Work Commission hearing the case. A report by Ernst & Young states the criteria Qantas has set for workers to bid for their own jobs is “unattainable and unrealistic”.

Swissport, which the Fair Work Commission has confirmed pay their workers below award minimums and which has been exposed over low paid workers forced to sleep at the airports, has already begun advertising for the Qantas work.

In documents to workers, Qantas initially gave workers just six weeks to make a final bid for their own jobs, and to find $100 million labour cost savings and $80 million to fund equipment upgrades. This is despite the airline choosing not to do these upgrades when it made billions of dollars in profit, including $1.5 billion in profit in 2016, $1.4 billion in profit in 2017, $1.6 billion in profit in 2018 and $1.3 billion in profit in 2019.

When Qantas announced its CEO received $24 million pay package he was the highest paid CEO in Australia and the highest paid airline executive in the world.

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