AVIATION WORKERS PROTEST WEALTHY AIRLINES BENEFITING FROM EXPLOITATION OF WORKERS

September 18, 2017

Watch TWU (VIC/TAS BRANCH) SECRETARY JOHN BERGER STICK UP FOR AVIATION WORKERS ON CHANNEL NINE, CHANNEL TEN AND CHANNEL SEVEN.

Aviation workers and TWU members have protested around the country today over low wages and appalling conditions which are risking safety and security.

Melbourne workers held an action at Tullamarine’s international departures terminal – without impacting passengers – to call on airports and airlines who outsource work to aviation service providers to take responsibility for the parlous conditions of their supply chains.

Workers in the Qantas supply chain, for example, struggle on casual hours, part-time work and split shifts that force many to sleep at the airports.

Ground handling company Aerocare contracts to Qantas and has been exposed over these working conditions.

The Fair Work Commission recently slammed Aerocare’s latest enterprise agreement because of its illegal split shifts and below Award rates.

Employees are guaranteed just 60 hours a month with no weekly guarantee. Aerocare employees are paid reduced penalty rates at weekends, for night work and over-time.

Last Friday Qantas, which made $1.6 billion last financial year, announced its CEO Alan Joyce had personally made $25 million. The four main airports last year posted profits of $1.8 billion.

TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary John Berger said every worker in the aviation industry contributed to the huge profits that airlines and airports are currently reporting and should be adequately compensated.

“Low wages, chronic understaffing, appalling conditions and cost-cutting results in injuries among airport staff and threatens public safety,” Mr Berger said.

“In fact, the travelling public would be truly shocked if they knew the reality of work in Australian airports. And Aerocare staff have among the worst conditions in the aviation industry, with some living below the poverty line.

“All airport workers should be, and must be, adequately compensated for the role they perform in ensuring that airline passengers keep moving and our airports and skies remain safe.

“We need industry-wide standards for wages and conditions, built-in worker rights and protections and high training, safety and security standards”.

Last week, Jetstar informed staff that an overwhelming 92.4% of employees had unanimously rejected its Jetstar Cabin Crew Agreement.

The protests coincide with the release of an Australia Institute Centre for Future Work report, The Consequences of Wage Suppression for Australia’s Superannuation System, commissioned by the Transport Workers’ Union, showing the Australian workforce will lose out on about $100 billion in retirement savings because of attacks on wages.

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