Australian News

Australian news and media publication

Qantas has confirmed that thousands of ground workers will lose their jobs following a cost-cutting decision to outsource most of their ground handling operations.

The warring airline has revealed that 2,000 jobs will be cut at 10 Australian airports as part of its operational review to ensure the flying kangaroo can remain in the skies beyond the coronavirus pandemic.

Qantas’ decision comes after months of operational reviews that began in August to reduce the size of the business after a reduced number of trips due to the health crisis.

Monday’s announcement brings the total loss of jobs at Qantas to around 8,500 of its 29,000 workers before the pandemic.

The aviation industry has been financially destroyed by COVID-19, and the health crisis caused Qantas to report a legal loss of $ 2.7 billion for the 2020 financial year.

RELATED: Qantas Couldn’t Have Avoided Removing 400 Employees: Court

RELATED: Backlash as Qantas Cuts 2,500 More Jobs by Outsourcing Ground Handling

Qantas executive director of domestic and international operations Andrew David said the industry had been turned “upside down” and it would take years to recover from the financial damage inflicted by the global shutdown.

“This is another difficult day for Qantas, particularly for our ground handling teams and their families,” said David.

“Unfortunately, COVID has revolutionized aviation. Airlines around the world are having to make dramatic decisions to survive, and the damage will take years to repair. “

The main airline said affected staff would be entitled to severance packages and would help workers find jobs outside the company.

Outsourcing ground handling operations is expected to reduce costs by $ 100 million annually and avoid large expenses on ground handling equipment.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Qantas has incurred an additional $ 1.5 billion in debt to keep the business afloat.

“While there has been good news recently with national borders, international travel is not expected to return to pre-COVID levels until at least 2024,” David said.

“We have a huge job ahead of us to pay off debt, and we know that our competitors are aggressively cutting costs to emerge leaner.”

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) had submitted offers on behalf of ground handling personnel to have the operations stay with Qantas; however, it was unsuccessful and did not meet the airline’s requirements.

Mr. David said that Qantas had done three separate extensions for the TWU, but that the union did not “describe enough practical details.”

“Even with the participation of a large accounting firm, the offering is well below what specialized third-party providers were able to present,” he said.

TWU said outsourcing to specialized ground operators was unsafe and the bidding process a sham.

He also claimed that outsourcing would reduce wages and working conditions, and Qantas was rejecting the federal government’s JobKeeper wage subsidy scheme.

Qantas refutes these claims.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *