June 28, 2017

Qantas employees have won a battle with the wealthy airline after it began paying them less to work the same job.

Staff at Q Catering challenged Qantas in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) after it abolished a higher role classification, paying them hundreds of dollars less each week while they continued to perform essentially the same duties.

This is the third failed attempt by Qantas to take from hard-working employees who have endured pay freezes and the sacking of thousands of their colleagues.

These employees have brought the airline back into profit and did not deserve this treatment.

Qantas previously tried to stop staff meal allowances and uniform laundry allowances, only to be over-ruled on both occasions by the FWC after receiving evidence from employees and the TWU.

TWU (Vic/Tas Branch) Secretary John Berger said the win was a just result.

“Q Catering staff presented a united front when Qantas management attempted to pick money from their pockets that they were relying on to cover mortgage payments, pay bills and purchase essentials for the family,” John said.

“These employees no longer have to consider taking a second job or working more hours – and spending more time away from their families – just to cover this money that Qantas had attempted to remove. And the level of stress created by having to find the extra has now also been removed – it was a totally unacceptable move by Qantas and we hope this result will stop other companies across the transportation sector from trying this sort of thing on.”

Q-Catering employee Mark Godwin gave evidence to the FWC that the move to downgrade his pay while he performed the same duties would equate to a $300 a week cut to his wages.

Fellow Q Catering employee Adam Vanderplank, in a witness statement, said: “For the 10 years that I completed the supervisory role as a level eight my duties remained similar or the same. As a level six I complete substantially the same role with a few minor changes in terms of operational reporting lines.”

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