Aviation

Workers prepare to rain on Sydney Airport’s parade after record full-year result

Huntley Mitchell

Huntley Mitchell

While Sydney Airport has profits jump in the last year, as workers are prepare to serve a claim over low pay and poor conditions.

Sydney Airport’s net profit lifted more than nine per cent to $849.1 million in the 2018 calendar year, with its revenue rising 6.8 per cent to almost $1.6 billion.

The company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation rose 7.2 per cent to almost $1.3 billion over the 12-month period, while the number of passengers increased by 2.5 per cent to 44.4 million.

Meanwhile, Sydney Airport workers, from baggage handlers to cabin crew to aircraft cleaners, are preparing a claim to serve on the airport in coming months.

According to the Transport Workers’ union, workers will demand same pay for the same job, regardless of which company engages workers, secure work with permanent full-time jobs; and safety and security as a number one priority.

Claims will also be served on airports around the country.

TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said: “Sydney Airport workers are forced onto insecure, low paid, part-time jobs in which they scramble to increase their hours from as little as 15 or 20 hours a week.

“At the same time, the airport at the top of the supply chain is seeing its earnings and profits jump.

“These profits are being made off the back of struggling airport workers, some of whom are having to access school lunch vouchers for their kids and have no chance of securing loans to buy a car or a house.

“We want to see fairness brought back into jobs at the airport which is why we will serve our claim shortly.”

Kaine said the lack of quality jobs at the airport is impacting on safety and security.

“High turnover of staff and chronic fatigue from gruelling split shifts is resulting in high injury rates among staff and daily safety and security breaches,” he said.

“If the federal government is serious about making our airports safe and secure, it must hold the airports to account over the downgrading of jobs.”

Kaine reckons passengers who travel through Sydney Airport would be shocked to learn how much profit the airport makes and how little staff take home.

“They will be shocked to learn the airport paid out over $1 million to lure the new CEO into the job. They will be disgusted when they hear that the airport pays no income tax,” he said.

“It is time for Sydney Airport and other airports around the country to be held accountable for the practices and conditions throughout their supply chains.”

Media reports recently revealed that workers at Sydney Airport were sleeping behind baggage carousels during split shifts, which see them at the airport for 15 hours and more, but only paid for as little as six hours, according to the TWU.

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