Powered by momentummedia
nestegg logo
Powered by momentummedia
nestegg logo
nestegg logo

Earn

‘Dictator’ Qantas called out for forcing workers to choose between pay and a jab

  • July 30 2021
  • Share

Earn

‘Dictator’ Qantas called out for forcing workers to choose between pay and a jab

By Cameron Micallef
July 30 2021

Qantas has been accused of forcing workers to give up pay in order to get a vaccination, as the airline awaits the decision on whether they can legally offshore 2,500 jobs.

Qantas called out for forcing worker to choose between pay and a jab

‘Dictator’ Qantas called out for forcing workers to choose between pay and a jab

author image
  • July 30 2021
  • Share

Qantas has been accused of forcing workers to give up pay in order to get a vaccination, as the airline awaits the decision on whether they can legally offshore 2,500 jobs.

Qantas called out for forcing worker to choose between pay and a jab

In a survey of 800 aviation workers, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) claimed that workers have been struggling to organise their vaccinations without having to give up their pay.

This is despite the airline pushing for passengers travelling overseas with Qantas or Jetstar to have a ‘digital health pass’ with information about their COVID and vaccination status prior to boarding.

According to TWU national secretary Michael Kaine, Qantas is “behaving like dictators”, blaming workers for problems that they have no control over.

Advertisement
Advertisement

He accused Qantas of “trying to blame workers for a problem which should be borne by the federal government for the failed rollout and by Qantas which is failing to guarantee that workers won’t lose a cent in pay if they get the jab”.

Instead, Mr Kaine is calling for the national carrier to guarantee pay when workers get vaccinated and ensure rapid testing for crew and passengers rather than blaming workers.

“The problem is not that workers aren’t getting vaccinated. The problem is that many workers either can’t get access to the vaccine, or are finding that when booking vaccine appointments in advance, they risk losing work ahead of rosters getting published,” he explained.

The unions pointed to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s pay, accusing him of being out of touch.

“Alan Joyce, who earned $11 million last year, is ignoring the grim reality for his workers that after a year of stand-down on meagre income, they are struggling,” Mr Kaine continued.

“Every extra shift, every hour’s penalty rate is vital to these workers.”

The survey data comes out on the eve of Qantas’ and the TWU’s ruling over the sacking of 2,500 staff.

The union has claimed that up to 2,500 workers at 10 airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Cairns, Townsville, Alice Springs and Canberra lost their jobs as a result of the move.

Qantas no longer directly employs baggage handlers, ramp workers, push back drivers or cabin cleaners.

In response, Qantas’ barrister, Neil Young, told the court that it was solely a business decision due to the company bleeding money, with tourism being halted by the pandemic.

“The decision to outsource was, we say, a necessary response to the devastating effect the pandemic had had upon Qantas’ business,” Mr Young concluded.

‘Dictator’ Qantas called out for forcing workers to choose between pay and a jab
Qantas called out for forcing worker to choose between pay and a jab
nestegg logo

Forward this article to a friend. Follow us on Linkedin. Join us on Facebook. Find us on Twitter for the latest updates
Rate the article

About the author

author image

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

About the author

author image
Cameron Micallef

Cameron is a journalist for Momentum Media's nestegg and Smart Property Investment. He enjoys giving Aussies practical financial tips and tricks to help grow their wealth and achieve financial independence. As a self-confessed finance nerd, Cameron enjoys chatting with industry experts and commentators to leverage their insights to grow your portfolio.

more on this topic

more on this topic

More articles

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.