The Federal Court has today ruled that workers illegally sacked by Qantas and replaced by a third-party contractor will not be reinstated.
The ACTU supports the Transport Workers Union decision to consider an appeal that would see the workers reinstated to their rightful jobs.
This case was by far the largest reinstatement case before the Federal Court of Australia and had no precedent to guide it – instead, the Court has set its own precedent.
None of this would have happened if the Morrison Government had taken a stand to protect workers from dodgy employers who are turning the Australian workforce insecure – plagued by labour-hire, casual, and gig employment.
During the hearings, the court heard from two tearful Qantas workers that the outsourcing had caused them severe depression, with one unable to socialise for months and the other needing professional help and medication to cope with the distress.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam O’Brien:
“Behind today’s Federal Court decision are real people, with real devastating impacts – workers who have had to live with the stress, anxiety and financial insecurity that comes from losing their jobs and watching their industry crumble to unscrupulous outsourcing and third-party contracting.
“We need a government that will stop corporations like Qantas from sacking permanent workers and replacing them with insecure workers on lower pay. A simple rule that provided for same job, same pay would stop this rort in its tracks.
“The Morrison Government is bankrolling Qantas’ attack on its own workers – they paid them more JobKeeper than anyone else in the country while supporting them to cut thousands of jobs.
“The ACTU supports the TWU’s decision to consider an appeal and continue the fight to reinstate these unlawfully dismissed workers.
“Qantas wouldn’t have been able to replace workers with lower-paid, less trained and more insecure workers with fewer rights if the Morrison Government had taken action and chosen to support the workforce rather than the corporation.”