The Australian Services Union today said its members were devastated at the decision to cut thousands of jobs at Virgin and its sister airline Tigerair.
The union’s Assistant National Secretary Linda White said it had worked with the ACTU and other unions for months to reduce the number of job losses and keep as many people in work as possible.
“Ultimately the company’s plan still sees a staggering number of job losses and cripples the industry – it’s shattering for workers and will be a huge skill drain for aviation,” said Ms White.
“This is absolutely devastating for Virgin workers – about one in three workers will be made unemployed at the height of this crisis when it is hardest to find work.
“It is only because of the hard work of the union in the past few months during the administration process that workers are guaranteed their entitlements in full.
“We will continue to work every hour of every day to preserve as many jobs as possible –starting with our meetings with the company today.
“As the new owners of Virgin, Bain needs to uphold all their commitments on how the airline will run - we will be making that clear in discussions today and in the coming weeks.”
Ms White said the Federal Government’s decision not to provide targeted government support to the industry in recent months played a big part in the outcome.
“When the Government decided to be a passive observer on the sidelines, the reality is they sealed the fate of thousands of workers who now face an uncertain future.
“We will stand side by side with those workers today and in the coming weeks and months to try and save every last job we can.
“But we also renew our call to the Federal Government to keep the aviation industry flying and come up with a detailed aviation support package.
“It is time the Federal Government put aside its aversion to targeted industry assistance and took some responsibility for shielding the aviation industry from further job cuts.
“The PM has seen what the industry will do unassisted – now it needs to get off the bench and save jobs.”
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