ACTU research has mapped the extensive use of labour hire companies by Qantas to drive down the wages and rights of Australian workers.
The research shows that Qantas has split its cabin crew workforce across 14 companies and contractors to drive down wages and conditions so they can post billions in profits, whilst workers struggle with the cost of living.
There have been no new direct cabin crew hires from Qantas since 2008. Cabin crew since then are contracted to various hire companies, most owned by Qantas, to work side by side with directly employed crew. Some of these labour hire cabin crew earn less than half the directly employed crew and miss out on penalty rates, have less job security, and have a harder time with work/life balance as they can get less than 2 hours’ notice of a shift.
Some labor hire crew are supervising other staff that are paid more than them.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
“Qantas is the poster child for gaming the system to meet the KPIs of Executives. They love legal loopholes and spend their time finding them so they can exploit them, just like JobKeeper and paying tax. Now they are campaigning with mining companies to try and stop the Government closing them.
“There are staff that have been employed for over a decade on labour hire contracts, who are now onboard managers yet get paid less than directly employed Qantas staff. If their skills are valued enough to become management, they should be rewarded as such.
“On some Qantas domestic flights, you might see 5 different rates of pay on the same plane.
“Clearly flight attendants are doing the same job and being paid different wages. It’s the same beef or chicken, the same emergency procedures, but its vastly different rates of pay. If we continue to allow the biggest companies in our country to use these loopholes, it spreads everywhere cutting wages and job security across the workforce.