Tony Abbott has given the green light to send tens of thousands of Australian jobs overseas with his decision to amend critical sections of the Qantas Sales Act.
ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said Qantas workers and their families would be waking up this morning devastated by the news that Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rendered not a single one of their jobs safe.
“The job of any Prime Minister is to protect Australian jobs. Tony Abbott has comprehensively failed this test,” Mr Oliver said.
“Mr Abbott admitted that his decision to change foreign ownership restrictions in the Qantas Sales Act would see Australian jobs go overseas.
“How did it get to the stage where our Prime Minister won’ t even stick up for Australian jobs?
“Governments the world over see the strategic importance of a government backed national airline that supports jobs, skills and infrastructure. Why doesn’t Tony Abbott?
“And mark my words, there’s no going back. Once the airline is gone, we will never get it back.
“In just six short months Mr Abbott has presided over the loss of two Australian Icons – Holden and now Qantas – and with it hundreds of thousands of direct and indirect jobs.
“For every job at Qantas there are 5 others that rely upon it. The impact of this decision won’t just be felt by the 26,000 Qantas employees that are left but over 100,000 other Australians whose jobs rely upon Qantas.
“And as with every other announcement of massive job losses that Mr Abbott has presided over, company CEOs at Holden, Toyota, SPC and now Qantas have had to come out and correct the misinformation being pedalled by the Prime Minister.
“Tony Abbott has sold out all Qantas workers as well as our rural and regional areas that rely upon a Government backed national carrier to ensure our regions are properly serviced.”
Mr Oliver said Australia is in the midst of a job security crisis with a Prime Minister that isn’t the least bit interested in protecting jobs.
“Qantas workers are the backbone of our national carrier and the reason the airline enjoys the excellent reputation that it has and they deserve better than the treatment they’ve received from Tony Abbot and Alan Joyce this week.
“Qantas workers are amongst the most productive in the country and half of the workforce earns on average, less than $50,000 a year.
“Australian unions will fight for every job and every worker and every family that is affected by this news.”
Australian Unions will meet with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce this week to seek a commitment to minimise job losses.