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Qantas gag on unions evokes Middle Ages, TWU says

March 27, 2015 Aviation, Headline News 2 Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) has accused Qantas of trying to gag unions from  discussing industrial action in the media.

The airline also wants to force the Australian Electoral Commission to identify union members, leaving them open to victimisation “by aggressive employers like Qantas”, the TWU maintains.

TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon said the Qantas submission to the Productivity Commission on workplace relations was “outrageous”. http://industryclub.com.au/

Qantas wanted all restrictions removed on using labour hire companies and wanted no responsibility for what those companies paid their workers, Sheldon said.

He said labour hire companies in aviation were already competing to win work from Qantas by offering the lowest possible labour rates. Lifting restrictions on labour hire would force many more thousands of aviation workers to live without job security. That meant they would not be able to obtain mortgages or support their families.

“The Qantas wish-list for Australian workplaces is so archaic it would not be out of place in the Middle Ages or current-day North Korea. Freedom of speech and freedom to challenge your boss is a right in Australia. It insults the Australian people to have this once great airline trying to turn back time on basic freedoms,” Sheldon said.

The airline admitted it was not interested in productivity – it just wanted to pay workers less and have less commitment to them, he said. Employees in Qantas could already be fired for speaking out – “now the company wants to gag their elected representatives from speaking on their behalf”.

“This submission shows Qantas is not interested in partnership anymore it simply wants its way on everything. The ink is barely dry on agreements which will see wage freezes for thousands of workers and now Qantas has shown it wants to drive down wages and conditions without any opposition,” Sheldon added.

Written by : Peter Needham

Currently there are "2 comments" on this Article:

  1. Mark C says:

    a harmonious workforce is a pre condition for success – ask any experienced manager !

  2. Jack P says:

    There as always more to the story, This is no different, Mr Sheldon or Qantas is not telling the whole story – (I’m not saying Qantas is right). This delemer on Qantas part was caused by the TWU when the likes of other ground handiling companys expressed interest in operating in Australia a deal was struck with the TWU that these companys did not have to pay the going rate at the time (being what qantas paid its staff) this would be an excessive burdon to them during start up. Well Surprise, Surprise nothing has changed these companys, toll Dnata, Oceiana, Menzies to name a few still pay their staff far less than Qantas and when Qantas wants a level playing field the TWU go to the senate, the industrial court to stop them. The TWU should be actively persuing these handling companys for a better wage for their members. $18.50/hr flat no penalties on any shift any day of the year, and they wonder why they have a high staff turnover. Qantas pays about $34/hr with shift penalties.

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