Qantas must show greater respect towards its loyal and dedicated workforce by providing commitments not to outsource or send jobs overseas, or set up dodgy corporate structures to evade its obligations.
Following a meeting yesterday with Qantas’ senior management, ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence said a strong industrial campaign would occur unless the airline took employee demands seriously.
“Qantas employees are worried about their job security as the airline has for many years pursued an approach of using labour hire and outsourcing, offshoring, short-term contracts and casualisation in the pursuit of higher profits,” Mr Lawrence said.
“Unions met with Qantas management to seek assurances about job security, and have unequivocally told the airline that they committed to standing up for the rights of workers employed in all capacities by the airline.
“It was made clear that employees will not shy away from a strong campaign to protect their rights and that they expect Qantas to take their demands seriously.
“Loyal employees expect Qantas will negotiate in a fair and reasonable manner because the airline cannot operate without the dedication of the thousands of workers who turn up to work hard each day.
“If Qantas wants to protect its business and reputation then it must ensure it treats all employees fairly and equitably.
“Qantas must also maximise the number of good, secure jobs for workers.
“Among the commitments sought by the workforce is continued heavy maintenance of the fleet to be done in Australia, not sent overseas because it is cheaper.
“Workers want assurances that there will be no outsource of work as a method of cutting wages and conditions.
“They also want to see good faith negotiations and local consultation around staffing levels, and are concerned about any moves by Qantas to avoid its obligations under enterprise agreements or Australian laws by developing complex corporate structures.
“Qantas must now agree to negotiate fairly and treat its workers with the dignity and respect they deserve,” Mr Lawrence said.