Virgin Australia workers call for $1000 in shares with IPO

Virgin Australia workers call for $1000 in shares with IPO
Edited by Travel Weekly


    Virgin Australia workers have laid out a five-point claim which prioritises better working conditions and includes a bid to secure shares ahead of the airline’s initial public offering (IPO).

    Airline staff within the Transport Workers Union (TWU) are calling on Bain Capital, the parent company of Virgin Australia, to prioritise and reward workers for their work and address workplace issues that have caused burnout and high turnover, invest in the airline, and maintain Virgin Australia’s high safety and service standards.

    TWU argues that Virgin workers are eager to remind the owners of their 2020 commitments to prioritise jobs and remain with the airline for the long-term to ensure ongoing stability.

    Below is the five-point claim that TWU and Virgin workers are calling on Bain to commit to:

    1.     Respect for workers

    Address cultural issues that have led to high turnover, absenteeism and disputation

    1.     Good, secure jobs

    All ground, cabin crew and pilots to be insourced in good, secure jobs

    1.     Ongoing investment

    Invest in technology, fleet and workers to maintain and grow safe, fair standards

    1.     Employee share scheme

    Annual $1,000 employee share scheme in conjunction with IPO

    1.     Industry reform

    Support the campaign for a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to rebalance aviation

    Virgin workers taking a slice of the business is something that TWU national secretary Michael Kaine believes strongly in.

    “Virgin workers were instrumental in seeing the airline through the administration process and back into profit. They have always had the airline’s best interests at heart and are today calling on Bain to ensure its long-term success,” he said.

    “Bain stands to gain hundreds of millions from an upcoming IPO, it is only right that hardworking staff are rewarded for their efforts through a reasonable employee share scheme, the likes of which are common in Australia.

    “Aviation must be rebalanced to ensure good quality jobs and service standards are prioritised over corporate greed, which has run riot at Qantas and dominated the industry. Workers are calling on Bain to join them in campaigning for a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to restore aviation to a stable, reliable industry for all.”

    Virgin ground workers and cabin crew have commenced enterprise agreement negotiations, while pilots will begin negotiations in the coming months.

    The TWU has also written to Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC) and Virgin Group as significant stakeholders that have a shared interest in the long-term success of the airline and stand to gain from a public offering.

    Earlier in the month, Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka said that the airline is in no rush to float the business.

    She said the airline needs to remain focused on delivering said profits and “rationally rebuilding the industry for the long term”.

    Bain Capital told Travel Weekly it has no comment on the calls from Virgin Australia workers.

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