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Unions call for a strong Australian aviation industry

18 November 2013 By ACTU

The ACTU has today been approached by unions that represent Qantas workers who are extremely concerned by news reports regarding the national carrier.

"We are concerned about reports of an uncertain future for Qantas as a result of the uneven playing field that has evolved within the local aviation industry," ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver said.

"A strong and viable local aviation industry is in the best interests of the country but most importantly the more than 40,000 Australians that work in it.

"For over 90 years Qantas has been the spirit of Australia employing tens of thousands of Australians, training thousands of apprentices, keeping regional communities connected and playing a key role in national crises such as the Bali Bombings and Boxing Day Tsunami.

"Qantas is a significant national employer with over 35,000 Australians working across heavy maintenance, call centres, catering and crew.

"Australians rightly expect the flying kangaroo to be in the skies for the years to come.

"It is incumbent on the Government to ensure the national carrier remains viable.

"I've spoken to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce today and support Qantas' call for Government intervention.

"The Federal Government cannot leave the fate of Qantas to the market and must explore all avenues to ensure the viability of the airline including in relation to the Foreign Investment Review Board and establishing procurement policies that support the national carrier.

"The Federal Government must provide full economic and social impact statements on the implications of foreign ownership of Australian airlines.

"The situation Qantas finds itself in is in no way related to Industrial Relations, wages and conditions, a point confirmed today by company CEO Alan Joyce."

Media contact: Carla De Campo 0410 579 575

Contact Details
Name: Linda White, ASU Assistant National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400