Virgin Australia has come to the table with its unionised ground workers to deliver a pay rise of up to eight and 20 per cent in the first year.
The three-year pay deal ensures a universal 6.5 per cent pay increase across the subsequent two years of the agreement and includes the creation of more full-time positions, more hours for part-time workers, and a commitment to insource more ground handling jobs starting with Link Airways flights between Sydney and Canberra.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) said that workplace safety is set to improve through commitments to introduce an extreme weather policy and roster team numbers to a safe standard, as well as correcting poverty pay that had led to workers juggling second or third jobs.
TWU national secretary Michael Kaine congratulated Virgin ground workers on their efforts.
“This is the premium enterprise agreement Virgin workers knew they needed to achieve from Bain Capital to correct pay and conditions and make jobs more secure after administration and pandemic sacrifices had left them struggling to make ends meet,” Kaine said.
“Workers are the backbone of an airline. Virgin’s commitment to insource more jobs is a stark contrast to the brutal, illegal outsourcing approach of its rival, Qantas.
“Good, secure jobs are the answer to rebuilding Virgin Australia and the aviation industry. This deal will encourage workers to remain with the airline, while increased part-time hours and full-time positions will assist with on-time performance.
“This is progress towards the sensible plan put to Bain Capital by Virgin workers. However, cabin crew and pilots currently bargaining need urgent answers to outstanding issues such as fatiguing rosters. All Virgin workers deserve to have certainty of fair pay and conditions before the busy festive period.”
A Virgin Australia spokesperson said the airline was happy with the agreement and noted that the costs weren’t an issue.
“The overall cost of this agreement is in line with the agreements we have reached with other work groups, and include increases to base wages, skills progression adjustments, allowances and productivity improvements,” she said.
Virgin is currently trying to sort out negotiations with cabin crew and pilots before resuming its work relisting on the ASX next year.
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