May 20, 2020


Virgin workers will tomorrow press the need for the Federal Government to adopt a plan for the airline’s long-term future, as the first committee of inspection meets.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said workers will query the Government’s role during the meeting.

The TWU will separately write to the Government asking it to implement a national plan on aviation for the entire industry.

“Workers want to press the need for a plan on ensuring the best transition for Virgin so that the airline can get back to full flying and ensure that workers and the travelling public are prioritized. We will also use the meeting to query the role the Federal Government is playing in this process. Our call remains for the Government to take an equity stake in the airline and to guarantee its future. There are concerns among the workforce about any gaps in cash flow and over investors in the running which may be more focused on a cut-and-run approach rather than on a long-term investment that serves workers and the travelling public.

“Only the Federal Government can allay these fears of thousands of Virgin workers and the many more thousands of workers around Australia who depend on the airline flying into their towns and cities. We would therefore again urge the Federal Government to show its hand and explain the role it intends to take in the Virgin process.

“The Federal Government is directionless on aviation, the industry that will be vital to cranking the economy back into gear. The Federal Government has still not given any indication on how it will help Virgin, it is allowing Qantas to act like a monopoly player and even come up with its own rules for flying during the pandemic, meanwhile thousands of airport workers aren’t even getting paid Jobkeeper. Aviation workers feel very let down by the Government”

Aviation workers have endorsed a national plan they want to see the Government implement which would see it take a greater role in regulating the industry, including: equity stakes for struggling businesses; ensuring workers are paid the same rate for the same work; making safety a number one priority; ensuring all airport workers stood down have access to Jobkeeper; and capping CEO pay.

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