4 April 2014 – Representatives of ITF-affiliated cabin crew unions meeting in London today pledged their support for their Qantas colleagues, who are facing unparalleled job cuts.They acted in response to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s plans to sack 5, 000 staff, resolving to extend solidarity support and to carry the message back to their unions that the cuts must be fought.
Australia’s TWU (Transport Workers’ Union) has mounted a powerful defence of the jobs, along with stringent criticism of Joyce’s plans and management of the airline. See here for details.
Tony Sheldon, TWU national secretary, commented: “Aviation transport support workers are delivering for Qantas and its passengers. Australian baggage handlers earn an average AUD51, 000 (USD47, 000) a year. In 2011 Oxford Economics found that they added AUD205, 212 gross value add per year. And since then, even Alan Joyce has admitted that Qantas worker productivity has increased by a further 22 percent.”
He continued: “It’s time to show that aviation workers deserve safe, secure work and the Australian public deserve safe, secure skies.”
ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho underlined the unity of the response of the meeting participants in expressing their support, and pointed to the ITF campaign to successfully challenge Joyce’s last round of attempted – and potentially disastrous – changes at Qantas in 2011 and 2012.