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AIRPORT PROFITS SOAR WHILE AEROCARE WORKERS URGED TO VOTE NO

April 26, 2018

A new ACCC report shows profits by the four main airports has surpassed $2 billion, as airport employees this week face a major attack on their livelihoods.

Total profits for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane airports have risen from $1.8 billion last year, according to the ACCC’s latest annual Airport Monitoring Report.

The news comes as ground-services company Aerocare, at the centre of a scandal involving staff forced to sleep at airports, is seeking to continue its wage theft by putting out a substandard agreement for vote this weekend.

Analysis by the TWU shows that rates in the new Aerocare agreement are at a minimum up to $8.50 per hour lower than rates and penalties under the award, which will result in millions of dollars being stolen from the company’s 2,500 workers each year.

The vote on a new agreement follows a Fair Work Commission rejection last August of a 2017 Aerocare enterprise agreement because of low rates and split shifts.

“What this new agreement will mean for Aerocare staff is continued wage theft and continued struggle. This company which has been exposed over staff forced to sleep at airports behind baggage belts and in their cars is seeking to impoverish a new generation of workers with its substandard agreement. Aerocare is the poster child for ripping off workers and gaming the system in aviation,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.

The new agreement, like previous Aerocare’s agreements, includes:

  • No more than 60 hours guaranteed a month (no weekly guarantee)

  • Below award rates for weekends, Good Friday, Christmas, etc

  • Split shifts, which are precluded under the award

“Airports are making billions of dollars in profit only because the people who work in them are having their wages stolen. Airports should not be money-making machines for wealthy conglomerates. They should be providing quality jobs where safety is paramount and a decent service for the entire community,” Sheldon added.

The ACCC report shows total profits for 2016-2017 at Sydney airport were $858 million, at Melbourne airport $534 million, at Brisbane airport $396 million and Perth airport $290 million.

Aerocare last year was exposed after footage showed staff were forced to sleep at airports. Since then more information has emerged including:

  • High injury rates among staff. At Sydney International Airport there were 132 injury incidents among a staff of 326 over a one-year period.

  • Security incidents, including passengers at Perth airport allowed airside to collect their baggage after a baggage handler was left alone to unload an entire aircraft

  • Staff being forced back to work while still injured

  • Aerocare managers accompanying injured staff into doctors’ surgeries during appointments

  • Broken and faulty equipment in use around aircraft and passengers

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