The Australian economy cannot afford a significant contraction of the aviation industry and the Federal Government must stand up for workers’ jobs in the wake of Qantas’ devastating announcement of 6000 job cuts.
Australian Services Union Assistant National Secretary Linda White today urged Qantas management to reverse its decision on job cuts and for the Federal Government to respond with a significant job saving package for the industry.
“This announcement by Qantas is premature and we’re calling on Alan Joyce and the Qantas Board to engage with the Federal Government on an Aviation Keeper package to protect jobs,” Ms White said.
“It is time the Federal Government put aside its aversion to targeted industry assistance and took some responsibility for shielding the aviation industry from mass job cuts.
“The country will bounce back, the industry will bounce back and Qantas, with one of the best balance sheets of any of the airlines in the world, will be well placed when the health crisis eases and the economy picks up.
“But cutting jobs and capacity now will only hamstring the industry and economy – Qantas is shooting itself in the foot.
“If Qantas does not reverse its decision, we will fight for these jobs to be retained.”
Ms White said defaulting to redundancies is short sighted and damaging and she urged Qantas and the Government to work with the union on alternative solutions to get through the crisis.
“A vital part of the recovery is going to be the support the aviation industry gets from the Federal Government.
The continuation of JobKeeper payments post September as part of a bigger Aviation Keeper package is vital for both the industry and workers survival as the recovery occurs.
“The Federal Government has so far baulked at specific industry assistance but the further into this crisis we go, the less practical that will be and the more jobs it will cost.
“We need to establish an Aviation keeper package post September to assist the industry, we cannot just sit back and let the market sort it out because that will just result in pain and long-term economic damage.
“The Australia Services Union will be by workers’ side during this difficult and uncertain time – we need to keep Australia Flying.”