Qantas workers will receive thousands of dollars in backpay as the Federal Court agreed that the airline’s management has been abusing JobKeeper and ripping workers off.
The court case centres on Qantas’s refusal to pay workers for public holiday, weekends, overtime work and allowances by standing workers down for the rest of their pay period and manipulating the pay system so workers just get basic JobKeeper Payment.
The judgment comes as Qantas and Jetstar workers begin two days of protests over plans to outsource and replace them with workers on less wages.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said Qantas had been caught out yet again taking taxpayers’ money while ripping off its workers.
“This is an important win for Qantas workers who have had their pay raided by senior management in a disgraceful abuse of the Jobkeeper scheme. These workers have endured systematic wage theft at the hands of an out of control management. They have worked overtime, public holidays and weekends and Qantas management has deliberately manipulated Jobkeeper so they don’t have to pay workers a dollar more than the public subsidy. Alan Joyce and his team are now back to paying themselves millions of dollars at the same time that they are denying their workers basic rights,” Kaine said.
“Qantas management has had the full support of taxpayers during this crisis, receiving $800 million in public funding. It has taken that money and abused our systems, ripping workers off and planning to outsource workers whose jobs the airline admits are needed. The Federal Government and the Qantas board must hold Qantas management to account. This trashing of taxpayers money and attacks on workers and their pay must be stopped,” Kaine added.
The TWU is also fighting Qantas management in the Federal Court over its refusal to pay sick workers, including workers with cancer, their leave. The TWU is today and tomorrow fighting Qantas management in the Fair Work Commission over plans to axe and outsource 2,500 ground workers.
The TWU has called for the Qantas CEO to resign following the misuse of taxpayers money linked to Jobkeeper misuse and the announcement to outsource jobs to pay workers less. The TWU has written to the Prime Minister asking him to intervene.
Qantas revealed in its annual report last week it is paying its senior executives millions of dollars. When Qantas announced its CEO received $24 million pay package he was the highest paid CEO in Australia and the highest paid airline executive in the world.