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Union warns of disruption over airport security contract

January 24, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Adelaide Airport could face passenger travel disruption in coming weeks, a major union has warned.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is monitoring the situation to see if rates and conditions of security workers deteriorate following a change of contractor. The TWU warns that any downgrading of security staff pay and conditions will result in safety and security risks at the airport.

According to the TWU, workers have been told to re-apply for their jobs while no firm commitment has been made to maintain current pay rates or conditions, following Adelaide Airport’s awarding of the security contract to SNP Security. The contract was previously held by ISS Facility Services.

SNP took over the contract last Friday, 18 March 2019.

TWU SA/NT senior branch official Matt Burnell said the Federal Government and Adelaide Airport must ensure that both companies facilitate the transfer of jobs with the same terms and conditions.

“The Federal Government must take responsibility for these workers and any threat to their pay and conditions. Adelaide Airport made the decision to change contractor, a decision we assume was based either wholly or partly on cost. But the travelling public won’t thank the airport for choosing a low-cost contract if it means compromising on safety and security.

“This is precisely the effect at airports when workers’ wages and conditions are slashed to save money because it results in high turnover of staff and a loss of experienced, well-trained security workers. This is why we are demanding that jobs are transferred between contractors with the same conditions applying,” he said.

Adelaide Airport revenues exceeded AUD 200 million last year with passenger numbers increasing to over 8 million.

“The Government has the power to ensure that all workers, some of whom have been securing the safety of passengers at Adelaide Airport for decades, are offered jobs with the new contractor on the same rates and conditions as they are currently receiving.

“This is about maintaining standards at our airports and insuring against a race to the bottom in aviation that will see security and safety compromised. If the Federal Government is concerned about security then it must combat the risks posed through the potential for downgrading working conditions at Adelaide Airport,” Burnell added.

Edited by Peter Needham

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