Prime Minister Scott Morrison must immediately guarantee all aviation workers affected by Qantas and Jetstar’s minimum two-month stand down of thousands of its workforce will receive the full Covid support payments announced yesterday.

The Morrison Government’s recent announcement has left thousands of aviation workers and their families in the lurch. Flight crews are unclear whether they are eligible for the payments, with the Government’s announcement appearing to cover only 50% of pilots and cabin crew. Ground staff, baggage handlers, check-in crew, cleaners, caterers and others are seemingly excluded from income support altogether.

Thousands of other people working for Qantas but employed by third party contractors will also be excluded from these vital payments.

With rolling lockdowns, Covid outbreaks and a slow vaccine rollout, further flight suspensions should be expected – the Morrison Government must provide JobKeeper 2.0 to all aviation staff affected by these disruptions.  

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“We stand in solidarity with airport workers who were financially exhausted by last year’s lockdowns and are ruthlessly excluded from income support by the Morrison Government, once again. These workers and their families have had their lives thrown into turmoil, not knowing if they’ll be employed or have income from one week to the next.

“All aviation workers affected by the Qantas and Jetstar stand down – and any future aviation stand downs – deserve to receive Covid support payments from the Government. Nobody should be left behind. The Morrison Government must immediately establish JobKeeper 2.0 for all workers affected by lockdowns – including in the aviation sector.

“Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce was paid almost $11 million last year, and Qantas received billions in taxpayer-funded support. Aviation workers however have just come out of a year from hell, never knowing when they’ll have pay or hours. Alan Joyce must now show some loyalty and support the workers Qantas relies on for its success. These decisions should not be made in secret in the Qantas boardroom”