Qantas should immediately step in and save 170 valet parking workers from major cuts to their wages and conditions say unions.
The workers have been given a deadline of the end of this week to either accept a pay cut or lose their jobs. About 170 workers have been affected nationally including 70 at Melbourne as Equity Valet Parking prepares to take over the Qantas Valet Parking contract on March 1.
The change of contract and AWA offer is presently subject to investigations being undertaken by the Victorian Workplace Rights Advocate and the Commonwealth Workplace Ombudsman.
ACTU President Sharan Burrow said:
“Qantas should not hide behind a contracting arrangement that would see long serving airport valet parking workers losing wages and conditions of between $150 to $300 per week.
“Workers who have worked at Qantas Valet Parking for up to 20 years, have been caught in an AWA trap as the new contractor is able to take advantage of the former Liberal Government’s unfair WorkChoices laws before AWAs are banned.
“These workers are being pressured to sign an AWA that strips away important conditions such as overtime, shift loading and paid meal breaks and could leave them $150 to $300 a week worse off depending on shift arrangements.
“The treatment that these workers have faced is simply not acceptable and Qantas should ensure Equity Valet Parking does not use these unfair AWAs and instead sits down with these workers and work towards a fair collective agreement”, said Ms Burrow.
ASU Victorian branch secretary Ingrid Stitt said:
“It really has past crunch time. It’s just not good enough that the future careers of these workers are left in hanging while Qantas sits on the sidelines. I can not believe that Qantas is really prepared to hand over the keys to this company on Saturday.
“These workers have had weeks of turmoil as Equity Valet Parking have been unwilling to issue a collective agreement and due to their incompetence regarding the issuing of AWA after AWA, after AWA.
“Staff have had their hard work and years of continuous service disregarded by this new company who are looking to take away significant conditions”, said Ms Stitt.