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Will Qantas fire 3000 workers and then rehire them?

February 24, 2014 Aviation, Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

egtmedia59Unions fear that Qantas is about to sack 3000 workers and then outsource the jobs, only to re-employ the workers at lower wages through subsidiaries and company-controlled labour hire firms.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) sees the move as part of a deal by the airline to win federal government assistance, the Guardian’s Australian edition reported at the weekend.

Qantas issued a statement late on Friday saying it had already “flagged the need to make tough decisions as part of strengthening our business” including at least 1000 job cuts over the next 12 months.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has previously said “all options are on the table”.

“We have also announced plans to cut AUD 2 billion of costs from our business over the next three years, and will provide more detail on this at our half-year results,” the airline stated on Friday. It will deliver its half-year results this  Thursday.

TWU national secretary, Tony Sheldon told the Guadian the union believed Qantas was preparing to terminate around 3000 workers at one of its divisions and then rehire them through subsidiary companies.

He called it a “sham outsourcing arrangement”.

The government is reportedly considering offering Qantas a “standby” or emergency debt guarantee in reponse to the airline’s entreaties for a “level playing field”. Qantas considers itself hampered by the Qantas Sales Act, which stipulates that most of the airline’s shares must remain in Australian hands. It points out that rival Virgin Australia has three big foreign airline shareholders.

Two major credit ratings agencies recently relegated Qantas to “junk” status.

Labor and the Greens have ruled out Senate support for any change to the Qantas Sales Act, meaning it could not pass parliament before the new Senate sits in July, the Guardian reports. The paper adds that Clive Palmer, whose Palmer United party senators will hold crucial crossbench votes after July, has ruled out supporting the change.

Written by: Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. Ken Buzza says:

    If this is how QF is going to treat loyal Staff, then it is time to close the doors. Only a Government handout with a stipulation that “The Entire Qantas Board Must Go” will drag a once proud airline out of the mire. Perhaps the Government might also put a proviso into the mix, that all shares and dividends that the board have enjoyed over the years be given to the “Loyal Share Holders”.

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