Qantas has lost its federal court appeal to overturn a ruling that it had illegally sacked workers, pushing the matter to compensation and penalties hearings.
Following two days of appeal hearings in February, the full court unanimously upheld the ruling that Qantas breached the Fair Work Act by outsourcing workers to prevent them exercising their industrial rights to bargain and take protected industrial action.
Further remedy hearings will now take place to determine the compensation Qantas should pay to workers in addition to penalties for 2,000 illegal sackings.
The TWU has vowed to fight for a substantial compensation package for workers who’ve lost lifelong careers after Qantas sacked them despite the federal court case looming.
Since the outsourcing, Qantas has lost its esteemed safety ranking, a number of serious safety breaches have been reported, and passengers have suffered long delays, lost luggage and damaged property in recent airport chaos.
TWU national secretary Michael Kaine congratulated workers on their second win against a corporate dictatorship and called for the sacking of overpaid Qantas executives.
“Through unity, resilience and determination, Qantas workers have achieved a huge victory,” he said.
“This is an emphatic ruling – a unanimous decision from four Federal Court judges.
“Qantas executives deliberately targeted and attacked workers and broke the law in sacking them to prevent them exercising their rights.
“Safety, service and sentiment for the airline have all plummeted over this unlawful decision to outsource. There is only one appropriate response from the Qantas board – heads must roll.”
SafeWork NSW is also prosecuting Qantas over its standing down of a health and safety rep providing legitimate advice to workers cleaning planes arriving from China in early 2020.