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Qantas employees ‘win battle over pay downgrade’

July 3, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Qantas employees claim to have won a battle with the airline that began after it started paying them less to work the same job.

Staff at Q Catering challenged Qantas after it abolished a higher role classification, paying them of hundreds of dollars less each week while they continued to perform essentially the same duties.

A statement by Tony Sheldon, National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) described Qantas’ action as a “third failed attempt to take from hard-working employees who have had to endure pay freezes and the sacking of thousands of their colleagues”.

“These employees have brought the airlines back into profit and they do not deserve this kind of treatment,” Sheldon said.

A union statement said Qantas previously tried to stop staff meal allowances and uniform laundry allowances, only to be overruled by the Fair Work Commission after evidence by employees and the TWU.

“This win is about fairness,” Sheldon said.

“Q Catering staff stood together and faced down this move by Qantas to take from their paycheques. These employees have mortgages, bills to pay and families to support – it is not acceptable for them to be paid less while their company makes billions of dollars in profit.”

Mark Godwin, a Q Catering employee at Perth Airport, gave evidence that the move to downgrade his pay while he performed the same duties “does not warrant AUD 300 a week cut to my wages”.

“For the 10 years I completed the supervisory role as a level eight my duties remained similar or the same. As a level six I complete substantially the same role with a few minor changes in terms of operational reporting lines,” said Adam Vanderplank, Q Catering employee at Perth airport, in a witness statement.

Edited by Peter Needham

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