Flight Centre employees are being asked to sign employment contracts that in the view of the ASU are unfair and unjust, in particular in relation to the changes to the remuneration system.
Many flights Centre staff across Australia have been in contact with the ASU asking us for advice about the company's latest move. That is not surprising as the ASU is the largest union in the travel and airline industry with many members in companies like Jetset Travelworld, QBT, Qantas, Virgin Australia and all the overseas airlines that fly to Australia like Singapore, Emirates, Garuda and Air New Zealand.
The ASU knows this industry and knows what experienced travel industry professionals are worth so that is why we have been giving advice and representing our members.
What do we think about the contracts
The employment contracts we have seen have a base salary of $32,500 for a full time employee.
In Australia the legal minimum wage is currently $32,354 – so Flight Centre is saying that skilled travel professionals are only worth the minimum base salary paid to less skilled workers. We think this is wrong.
We believe that Flight Centre employees are covered by the Clerks Private Sector Award rates which are much higher that the legal minimum wage.
We know that Flight Centre is saying that there are incentives on top of the base salary but these incentives are not guaranteed.
Flight Centre can also change your duties and reduce your total remuneration by 20% without your agreement – this is not just or fair.
Flight Centre is doing well because staff have done well
We know that Flight Centre continues to record profits and is the largest and most successful travel company in Australia.
The 2012/2013 profit increased by 23% to $246 million, up from $200 million the previous year. And this financial year Flight Centre is aiming for a pre-tax profit of between $370 million and $385 million.
Flight Centre can afford to make sure that staff are paid properly and fairly.
What are we doing
ASU members in Flight Centres across Australia are banding together to stop their remuneration being reduced. Hard working employees are proud that Flight Centre makes good profits and is the largest most successful travel company in Australia. But employees want a fair recognition of their work with proper and just remuneration, not the prospect of reductions in remuneration.
We have written to Flight Centre on behalf of our members you can see our letter on the back.
What should you do?
The ASU advice to employees is not to sign the new Contracts that unilaterally change your remuneration. There is no legal obligation to sign the new Contract as your current Contract will simply continue on.
Time to join the ASU
Now is also a good time to join the union. You can join confidentially, Flight Centre do not need to know you are a member. General Protection Employment laws and Discrimination laws will protect you if you do not sign a new contract, and these laws will protect you as a member of the ASU.
Want more information?
If you want more information contact your local ASU organiser (for details please download the full bulletin below).