The TWU has had a huge win against Qantas today, with the Federal Court ruling against Qantas’ axing and outsourcing of 2,000 ground workers’ jobs. Baggage handlers, ramp workers and cabin cleaners are now hoping to get their jobs back as soon as possible.
The court stated Qantas fired workers to prevent them from exercising their rights to bargain for better wages and conditions and to take industrial action. Justice Lee referred to evidence presented in the court showing Qantas saw the pandemic as a “transformational opportunity”.
77 per cent of those sacked by Qantas want their jobs back and three quarters have been unable to secure full-time work, according to a survey conducted by the TWU.
The ACTU supports the TWU in calling for the Federal Government to hold Qantas to further account over illegal outsourcing.
Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:
“The TWU’s win demonstrates the power that working people have when they stand together, even against businesses like Qantas, who are using the pandemic as an excuse to reduce the pay, conditions and jobs of their loyal workforce.
“Workers lives have been thrown into turmoil by Qantas’ decision to sack them and outsource their positions to third parties on a low cost, take-it or leave-it contract. Following this ruling, axed Qantas workers will be expecting their jobs back as soon as possible, and the TWU will be meeting with Qantas to ensure this happens.
“The Morrison Government’s role in this case must be examined as they pumped $2 billion of public funds into Qantas while allowing the airline to wage a war against workers in a bid to drive down wages.
“Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce received $10.74 million in annual earning last year and cannot hide under the guise of the pandemic to strip workers of their pay and conditions.”