The ACTU is deeply concerned by the unprecedented $2.84 billion dollar statutory loss announced by Qantas today.

ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said Qantas management has serious questions to answer about how the company reached this point.

“This is deeply shocking and worrying news for the 30,000 Australians who work for Qantas and their families,” Mr Oliver said.

“While unions note the commitment that there will be no further job losses, we continue to maintain that not all of the 5,000 job cuts announced in February are necessary and will continue to hold talks with Qantas to minimise those cuts.

“Qantas workers are the backbone of our national carrier and the reason the airline enjoys the excellent reputation that it has.  They deserve better than being buffeted by a series of horror announcements from the airline’s management and an uncertain future.

Mr Oliver said unions will also be seeking guarantees from the Qantas board about its move to set up Qantas International as a separate entity.

“Qantas must guarantee this will not impact the jobs, wages, conditions and accrued entitlements of the workers involved.

“Qantas workers and the Australian community want the airline to demonstrate that they have a sustainable long term business plan that is not reliant on a spiral of job cuts.

“There is a strong national interest in ensuring Qantas remains a viable Australian airline which maintains a true Australian identity and supports local employment and investment.”