Qantas has informed international flight attendants that it has applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate their agreement, a decision which would cut wages by almost half for some staff.

These flight attendants, who have endured 20 months of standdowns since the start of the pandemic and are trained to respond to everything from a hijacking to a heart attack are fighting attempts by Qantas to expand their hours by a third for no extra pay.

Qantas has received billions in public money over the course of the pandemic, including $2 billion in 2021 alone. The Australian public rightly expects that such a huge investment would safeguard the jobs of employees who have made enormous sacrifices throughout the crisis.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Qantas flight attendants volunteered to serve on flights to bring stranded Australians home before vaccines were widely available. They, like so many other frontline workers, are heroes of this pandemic and deserve fair pay and conditions and their employer’s respect and recognition.

“Qantas has received billions in taxpayer funds over the last two years. Now they are threatening workers to try and force through a deal, slash wages and keep more of our money for themselves.

“Flight attendants are highly trained to deal with a wide range of incredibly difficult situations. They have made sacrifices again and again during the pandemic, and they have the full support of the union movement in this fight.

“Qantas should withdraw this threat, and should be condemned by the Morrison Government.”