Aviation

Union slams Jetstar’s claims it bribed strikers

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has defended handing over grocery vouchers to Jetstar workers who participated in strikes on Wednesday.

See also: Politicians urge Jetstar to return to negotiation table ahead of strikes 

According to the Australian, Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans said the $100 grocery vouchers some union branches gave strikers was a sign of “desperation” by the union as it pushed a “broader agenda”.

However, TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said the vouchers were a small gesture to compensate for lost wages as a result of strike action.

“It is entirely normal for trade unions to support their members,” he said.

“To say a grocery voucher is an incentive to strike is ridiculous and does not reflect the enormity of what these workers are doing.

“It’s not an easy decision to stand up in your workplace and go on strike. Workers lost a day’s pay which for low paid workers will be a big hit to their incomes. But they believe it is worth taking this stand for them and their families’ futures.”

The union said around 250 Jetstar ground crew across the country walked off the job over a 24 hour period to protest low pay and unstable hours.

Jetstar cancelled around 50 flights to manage disruption.

Qantas reported a profit of $445 million today and increased revenues of 3.5 per cent. Announcing the airline’s half-year results, CEO Alan Joyce said Jetstar, which is a subsidiary of the airline, grew its ancillary revenue but faced challenges due to industrial action at one of its busiest times of year.

“Let me pause at this point to say that our position on wages is crystal clear,” he said.

“We’re offering 3 per cent a year, which is above inflation and above what most companies are offering. No amount of industrial action will change our stance, because we can’t afford to lose our discipline on costs.

“That would ultimately have a very negative impact on jobs, and the challenges facing all airlines right now underscores why.”

Kaine said Qantas’ treatment of its employees is unsustainable and would “ruin” the company in the long-term.

“Qantas doesn’t want an efficient, productive workforce. It wants an army of desperate people, utterly compliant and willing to accept dreadful conditions because all they can focus on is picking up more hours so they can support their families,” he said.

“This is not a way to run an airline which will have a long-term future, this is a way to ruin a company through inefficiencies and safety risks.”

According to a survey of Jetstar union members conducted by TWU, 80 per cent said they were injured at work and 80 per cent said they struggle to pay bills. 90 per cent said they wanted more hours and 45 per cent said they had contacted their banks to delay payments.

“Stress, pain, agony, relationships failure,” one worker commented in the survey, “Don’t wanna be with family because of the feeling too poor to do things with them. Can’t afford to be with them.”

“I have to work seven days a week just to get 38 hours a week. I work around 340 days a year just to support my family. I have a wife and a son which I barely see because of the six-day, 30-hour roster,” said another.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Events

Women in Travel Awards 2020 postponed

Did you (or were you about to) submit your entry for this year’s awards? If so, you’ll definitely want to give this a read.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Airbnb commits $400m to hosts to cover COVID-19 cancellations

by Christian Fleetwood

The short-stay accommodation giant has also secured a $1.6 billion investment from two private equity firms.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline staff “incredibly fearful” about operating repatriation flights

Qantas will reportedly recruit cabin crew staff from a New Zealand subsidiary, after a call for Australian volunteers for scheduled repatriation flights failed.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“You can make a difference – just keep it simple”: Aussie agent’s plea to airlines

An Aussie travel agent has called for airlines to simplify the way they distribute information, to help ease the stress the current system is placing on advisors.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Majority of Greg Mortimer passengers test positive for COVID-19

Aussie cruise passengers on board the Greg Mortimer, who have been in lockdown since 22 March, have finally received word they will be flying home in the next few days.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Museum challenges fans to recreate artworks at home

LA’s Getty Museum has issued an artistic challenge to its social media followers, and the results are equal parts clever and hilarious.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Cruise Wrap: CMW and Hurtigruten extend suspensions, Carnival’s new shareholder + MORE

Travel Weekly is doing its best to prevent you from watching Netflix’s entire content catalogue with plenty of news in this week’s Cruise Wrap.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

From sundowners to Zoom yoga: How Bench Africa is keeping agents engaged

In a time of self-isolation and social distancing, keeping personal touch as a key part of your business is more important than ever. Bench Africa is doing this in spades.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

British police dye ‘Blue Lagoon’ black to deter tourists during COVID-19 lockdown

Despite a nationwide lockdown, and despite it having nearly the same pH as bleach, an abandoned quarry is still drawing visitors. So, the police have responded in a very unique way.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Spencer Travel’s Penny Spencer

We’ve given our Midweek Interview a facelift to suit the times, starting off with the managing director of Spencer Travel and industry legend Penny Spencer.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas crew who tested positive for COVID-19 were not required to quarantine

Despite later testing positive for COVID-19, four members of Qantas’ cabin crew were not required to quarantine after operating a repatriation flight from Chile.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Austrian authorities face possible class action over COVID-19 outbreak at ski resort

Authorities in the Austrian state of Tyrol are facing a potential class-action lawsuit over their handling of a COVID-19 outbreak at a popular ski resort.

Share

CommentComments