The ACTU today released details of a union plan to revive Ansett airlines and save thousands of jobs. The plan calls on State and Federal governments to take immediate action to support the rescue of Ansett.
Announcing the plan in Melbourne today, ACTU Secretary Greg Combet said Australia needed a viable, renewed Ansett to protect thousands of jobs, maintain regional economies and provide consumers with a real choice of airlines.
“The magnitude of the Ansett debacle is in large part due to corporate and government inaction. The choice for the Howard Government is stark: support a plan to revive Ansett, or facilitate its liquidation and the loss of tens of thousands of Australian jobs. While we do not want to raise false expectations, the unions are committed to getting Ansett back in the air. The community deserves to know where the Federal Government stands,” Mr Combet said.
The plan requires:
1) Federal and State Government commitment to support a rescue plan for Ansett;
2) Urgent Commonwealth support for an Ansett rescue package including:
- Bringing all parties together including the Ansett Administrators, potential buyers, creditors, unions and State Governments.
- A short term $200 million capital and/or equity investment;
- 100% protection of employee entitlements;
- Supporting the recovery of funds from Air New Zealand;
- Guaranteeing regional services;
- Assistance for Ansett-dependant businesses; and
- Commitment of a substantial proportion of Government air travel to Ansett.
3) Development of a viable business plan including:
- Working with financial institutions to alleviate Ansett liabilities;
- Preserving assets and maintaining the integrity of the Ansett group;
- Restoring profitable routes as soon as possible;
- Maximising jobs and guaranteeing employee entitlements.
4) Putting people and regions first, including:
- Financial relief for families experiencing hardship; and
- The earliest possible resumption of services to regions.