The ACTU has met with Deputy Prime Minister and Minster for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack to impress upon him and his Government the need for intervention to support airline workers, and to ensure a successful sale of Virgin.

The pandemic has put the aviation industry under immense pressure and Government support is required to protect the tens of thousands of jobs at stake, but particularly the 16,000 workers who rely on Virgin Australia for employment, either directly or indirectly.

Without Government intervention we are concerned that the sale will not be finalised and Virgin may tip into liquidation, resulting in thousands of jobs being lost, further devastation to the tourism industry and Qantas having a monopoly.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Virgin, its administrators and the remaining bidders need certainty from the Morrison Government about the level of support that will be given to airline workers beyond the current parameters of JobKeeper.

“We know that even in the best case scenario there will be thousands of aviation workers still stood down when JobKeeper is scheduled to end in September.

“Certainty for these workers is essential for them, for the bidders in the administration process, and for the future of our aviation industry. The current timeline of Government announcements is too slow and puts at risk the sale of Virgin Australia.

“With final bids due next week the Morrison Government needs to move swiftly to resolve these issues and provide essential support for these vulnerable workers.”