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PM implored to introduce ‘AviationKeeper’ to prevent further job losses

  • January 24 2021
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PM implored to introduce ‘AviationKeeper’ to prevent further job losses

By Cameron Micallef
January 24 2021

The aviation industry is calling on the government for additional support, as one of Australia’s hardest-hit industries continues to struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic.

AviationKeeper

PM implored to introduce ‘AviationKeeper’ to prevent further job losses

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  • January 24 2021
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The aviation industry is calling on the government for additional support, as one of Australia’s hardest-hit industries continues to struggle through the COVID-19 pandemic.

AviationKeeper

In a letter addressed to the government, Virgin and the Transport Workers Union are demanding an extension of the JobKeeper program beyond its current cutoff date in March to all workers in the aviation sector until domestic and international borders open. 

Dubbed ‘AviationKeeper’, Virgin and TWU are urging the Prime Minister to consider the “unique challenges” and “great importance” of keeping Australia’s aviation industry running.

TWU assistant national secretary Nick McIntosh said the government must act quickly to ensure “our critical aviation industry remains intact and retains its highly trained, skilled workforce”.

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He stressed that the last 12 months had been extremely difficult for the sector, with some 11,000 workers lost due to redundancies, with a further 2,500 ground handling and cleaning workers outsourced by Qantas at 10 Australian airports. 

“The loss of skilled workers in the aviation industry has already been colossal. Thousands of families have been left jobless and thousands more are looking to another year of uncertainty, made worse by the impending termination of JobKeeper,” Mr McIntosh said. 

“For aviation, this year began in the same manner as the height of last year’s lockdowns, with both international and domestic borders closed. It makes no sense to remove the wage subsidy lifeline that has kept aviation businesses going and assisted many workers to keep their jobs and pay their bills while planes are grounded.”

TWU also criticised the government’s favourable treatment of Qantas, noting that despite the $800 million in support it received, it still offshored 2,000 jobs. 

“Workers are angry at the federal government’s lack of intervention. It continues to pump millions of dollars into Qantas through wage supports and other financial assistance with no conditions attached.

“There is no benefit to the Australian community when taxpayers spend billions only to result in workers in good jobs being thrown on the scrap heap,” TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said.

With her name also on the letter, Emeline Gaske, assistant national secretaries for the TWU and Australian Services Union, highlighted the uncertain future airline workers face. 

“Our members have been to hell and back over the last year, and 2021 looks no more promising. If borders are to remain closed, JobKeeper is to end, and banks are to finish up the mortgage holidays, how does the Prime Minister expect aviation workers to survive?

“Millions of businesses, jobs and livelihoods depend on aviation. It will take time for demand to return, but when it does, Australia will need a strong aviation industry ready to fly. That requires a skilled, experienced workforce to put planes back in the sky,” Ms Gaske concluded.

PM implored to introduce ‘AviationKeeper’ to prevent further job losses
AviationKeeper
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About the author

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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.

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