Qantas steel for union struggle after 2,000 jobs were outsourced

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In a press release, Qantas noted that the union had not applied for a restraining order to stop the outsourcing while the matter was being heard by the court.

TWU described Qantas’ decision to move forward with the outsourcing program while the matter was still on trial as “appalling”.

“Qantas employees are dismayed and amazed that the airline to which they have dedicated years of their lives has treated them as one-way gears in the machine,” said Nick McIntosh, assistant secretary of state for TWU.

“Their jobs are not redundant. Qantas still needs people cleaning, loading and pushing back their planes. Those workers are being replaced because Qantas wants the labor to be cheaper.”

“Last year they were forced to go through the humiliation to bid for their own jobs only to be laid off in the New Year. Now the airline will never employ another baggage handler, cabin cleaner or pushback driver again.”

The airline, which lost $ 2.7 billion last year, announced its intention to outsource jobs in 2020 as part of a major cost-cutting program. The names of the contractor list were announced in December. At this time, the TWU made the decision to outsource the jobs, and in particular Qantas’ choice of SwissPort.

SwissPort struggled to get its corporate contract approved by the Fair Work Commission because the minimum inventory levels were not met.

Qantas said the conclusion of the contracts was the result of “extensive” consultation with workers and the Transport Workers’ Union and would provide an introduction to employees wishing to apply to their new outsourced contractors.

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The airline will be sending letters to the affected employees in the next few days confirming their layoff payments. The transition is expected to be completed in March.

The 2000 ground handling and cleaning staff will join around 6,000 former Qantas employees who have already been laid off by the company due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Qantas, 13,500 employees are left behind.

A Qantas spokesman said the company was making tough decisions to ensure it recovered from the effects of the pandemic on air travel.

“We have been using these specialized ground handlers at many Australian airports for decades and they have proven that they can deliver a safe and reliable service more efficiently than currently in-house.”

Sarah Danckert is a business reporter.

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