08/09/2020 - 10:00

Union slams Qantas job cuts

08/09/2020 - 10:00


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TWU national secretary Michael Kaine has slammed Qantas’ decision to shed 2,500 workers following reports the airline considered cutting the jobs as early as 2010.

Union slams Qantas job cuts
Qantas had argued as far back as 2010 that it would make sense to cut below the wing services by 2020. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Transport Workers Union of Australia national secretary Michael Kaine has slammed Qantas Airways’ decision to shed 2,500 workers following reports the airline considered cutting much of its "below the wings" services as early as 2010.

Those reports, substantiated by leaked documents released overnight outlining the airline’s strategic vision ahead of 2020, revealed Qantas had proposed moving away from offering these services on the basis it would be more efficient for the airline to do so.

The plan would build on the company’s competitive advantage, the document said, and would help the airline to focus on developing customer interface roles.

It described the move as being based on the principle of “unconstrained thinking”, on the basis a capable supplier and technological advances would mean shedding these jobs would make sense over time.

Such a move would also allow the airline to simplify its fleet, configuration and processes, the document said, thus leading Qantas to adopot a streamlined airport and corporate management structure.

Those revelations come after Qantas axed about 2,500 ground handling staff earlier this year as a result of grounded flights resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline had claimed the move would save it about $100 million a year.

Calling the revelations shocking, Mr Kaine claimed the leaked documents revealed Qantas had engaged in a years-long, cynical ploy to cut jobs rather than preserve them in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Qantas management’s plan to kill and outsource 2,500 workers isn’t about the pandemic, it is part of a pre-arranged plan,” Mr Kaine said.

“This revelation on the outsourcing of Qantas’ entire ground operations exposes a senior management team out of control and targeting a group of workers.

“Qantas management has used the pandemic as the basis for the plan to kill and outsource its ground operations.

“Now that lie has been exposed with revelations that they were planning it all along.

“This is management philosophy out of step with the cooperative, unselfish and community focused approach called for by the Prime Minister to deal with this pandemic.

“It is time for a fresh management and governance team at Qantas.”

More to come.


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