In the middle of a pandemic when aviation is on its knees, Qantas is moving to outsource 2,500 of its loyal, hard-working and highly trained workers. Over 500 Victorians are set to face Christmas with no hope of a bright 2021. These workers are the people who get you and your bags on and off the plane; get the linen and food onto your flight; clean the cabin so it is safe; and push your aircraft back to send you on your way.
Qantas admits these jobs must still be carried out – it just doesn’t want its own workers to do it anymore. Instead, it wants outside agencies, which pay workers less to do it. These workers are not being made redundant – they are being replaced.
To rub salt into their wounds, Qantas rejected an in-house bid by its workers for their own jobs, despite that bid being cheaper than the average bid from outside agencies.
One of these Qantas workers about to lose their job is my nephew, who has worked as a baggage handler in Cairns airport for 14 years. I know the dedication and the pride Qantas workers bring to their jobs and I know how devastating it is for them to be pushed out in this way.
Qantas has received substantial amounts of public support since the pandemic hit, grounding its aircraft. Reports to June show the airline received $800 million in JobKeeper payments for its workers and to keep flying routes open.
Quotes attributed to Rod Barton MP
“Now, despite our support for Qantas, it is letting down its workers when they need it most. This is not the spirit of Australia and I condemn Qantas for these actions.”
“I call on the Victorian Minister for Industrial Relations call upon the airline to halt the outsourcing of Victorian jobs and creating an environment of insecure work.”
Media contact: Norm Dunn, Chief of Staff Rod Barton MP, 0438 175 113 Norm.firstname.lastname@example.org