Singapore Airlines wants the power to stand workers down without pay in the event of an escalation of the Coronavirus crisis here in Australia.

In their current enterprise bargaining agreement negotiation, The airline has proposed that its workers must take  “unpaid leave where the employee is required by reason of legislation, regulation, order or direction (however described) by any Government, Government agency or regulatory body that the employee must be quarantined or isolated to prevent or minimise the spread of a contagious illness.”

At a time of high anxiety in the community about the prevalence of insecure work and financial pressure that has been exacerbated by the Coronavirus outbreak, it’s unconscionable that big business would use the situation to try and further undermine worker’s entitlements.

Employers should be joining with unions to help guarantee workers’ job security and to stabilise the economy.

Singapore Airlines cynical proposal only serves to weaken its commitments to its workforce under the guise of an occupational health and safety measure.

The ACTU calls on the Morrison government and all major employers to join in a concerted effort to defend the job security of Australian workers and put people before ideology at a time of national crisis.

Quotes attributable to Sally McManus

“Singapore airlines is trying to fly under the radar with this proposal to undermine worker’s entitlements at a time when it should be supporting its workforce through this crisis.”

“At a time when employers should be actively encouraging and supporting workers who may be impacted by Coronavirus, Singapore Airlines is putting the risk of this disease back on workers and undermining public health.”

“Scott Morrison needs to step up on behalf of workers who feel like they’ve been abandoned during the Coronavirus saga. It’s time he put workers first before his mates in big business.”