Qantas recruitment drive proves it used Covid to replace loyal workers – Union says

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) says leaked emails on Qantas’ recruitment drive prove it used the cover of Covid to wipe out union agreements with substantially better pay and conditions built up over decades to replace them with lower-paying jobs.

It says the deliberate tactic resulted in mass job losses, airport chaos and a significant reduction in pay, conditions and job security across aviation.

“The cabin crew recruitment drive for ex-employees would rehire workers formerly employed on Qantas Airways Limited agreements into Qantas’ subsidy companies with lower pay and conditions.

“The move resembles similar tactics in Qantas’ ground work. Shortly after Qantas illegally outsourced its entire ground and cleaning workforce, recruitment ads appeared for Qantas freight workers on lower pay and conditions than those outsourced who could have been redeployed,” a statement from the union says.

The union also claims many of the experienced outsourced Qantas workers also reported being rejected from the labour providers which took over their jobs, with some hearing from other workers that their application was blocked by Qantas management.

TWU National President, Michael Kaine

The TWU has previously slammed Qantas’ premature announcements of overzealous redundancies while Qantas was able to claim JobKeeper to keep employees engaged.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said Qantas management has behaved horribly and predictably.

“This was an entirely predictable but no less distressing plan by Qantas to exploit the cover of covid to smash pay and conditions.

“This proves without a doubt that Qantas management had a premeditated plan throughout the pandemic to clear out workers who had spent years building up good, secure jobs, to replace them with lower-paying, insecure work.

“This all took place while Qantas was receiving $2 billion in unconditional corporate welfare from the Morrison Government, including more JobKeeper than any other company to keep workers engaged with their employer.

“Aviation relies on highly trained, skilled workers. We have seen absolute chaos across our airports over the last year with chronic understaffing and a colossal loss of skill and experience.

“Workers, passengers and taxpayers have paid a heavy price for Qantas’ greed. This is why we need a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to rebalance aviation to a reliable and sustainable industry built on decent, secure jobs and a highly trained workforce,” he said.

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