Airport workers have had a huge win this morning against their employer Aerocare, with the Federal Court ruling that the workers could not be required to work more than one shift in each 24 hour period under the relevant Award.
The employment arrangements at Aerocare had attracted widespread attention following accounts of workers sleeping in their workplace for a few hours between paid shifts.
The Fair Work Commission will consider the ruling in determining whether a new enterprise agreement, which allows split shifts, leaves the workers “better off overall” compared to the Award.
It will also be relevant to question of whether an existing agreement, that allows split shifts to be worked, should be terminated.
This is another blow to the broken, exploitative business model employed by Aerocare, which destroyed the quality of life of many airport workers.
Aerocare workers have stayed united and struggled for better conditions through the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and Australian Services Union (ASU) who fought the case in court.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“No one should be forced to work split shifts, forced to sleep at work rather than spending time with their families or friends, just to increase the profit margins of their employers.
“This is a great win for these workers and we welcome the decision of the court to uphold the rights of working people.
“When working people come together they can do anything, but workers shouldn’t have to be dragged before the courts to oppose exploitative practices. We need better, faster mechanisms for dispute resolution.
“We need to change the rules so that all working people have the power to ensure that they are getting the pay rises they deserve and the conditions at work that all Australian workers should be able to expect.”