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Federal Court case lodged to stop Qantas from outsourcing 2,000 jobs

  • December 09 2020
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Federal Court case lodged to stop Qantas from outsourcing 2,000 jobs

By Maja Garaca Djurdjevic
December 09 2020

Qantas is being dragged to court over its decision to outsource 2,000 jobs across 10 airports in Australia as part of a company-wide restructure.

Federal Court case lodged to stop Qantas from outsourcing 2,000 jobs

Federal Court case lodged to stop Qantas from outsourcing 2,000 jobs

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  • December 09 2020
  • Share

Qantas is being dragged to court over its decision to outsource 2,000 jobs across 10 airports in Australia as part of a company-wide restructure.

Federal Court case lodged to stop Qantas from outsourcing 2,000 jobs

The union in charge of representing aviation workers has launched a test case in the Federal Court to challenge the “unlawful outsourcing” of more than 2,000 Qantas workers.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is expected to file the test case on behalf of the Transport Workers Union (TWU) on Wednesday morning, as it looks to overturn Qantas’ decision on the basis that it is “unlawful” under the Fair Work Act.

Maurice Blackburn principal Josh Bornstein, who is acting for the TWU, said the case would put outsourcing on trial. 

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“If Qantas can replace thousands of its employees with cheaper, insecure labour hire employees, then this can happen to any other employee in any Australian workplace.  

“This important test case for the TWU will determine whether Qantas’ decision to sack 2,000 workers to outsource these jobs breaches workplace laws,” Mr Bornstein said.

He explained that the case is hinged on the Fair Work Act, which bluntly states that a company can’t sack employees because they are entitled to collectively bargained employment conditions.

“By outsourcing this work, Qantas is seeking to avoid collective bargaining under the Fair Work Act.

“If the outsourcing proceeds, Qantas will no longer have to negotiate with the workers who perform the work. Instead, Qantas will be able to unilaterally impose a price for the services of outsourced workers, and those outsourced workers will not be allowed to bargain with Qantas under current IR laws,” said Mr Bornstein.

Back in August, TWU hit out at Qantas for its response to the COVID crisis, which saw the airline announce that it was not only outsourcing thousands of ground, baggage and cleaning workers, but also making some 6,000 staff members redundant to reduce costs.

At the time, TWU sought the immediate resignation of CEO Alan Joyce.

“If Alan Joyce’s only plan is to wield the axe on thousands of loyal staff, he should resign. This is not shrewd management, it is economic violence. Qantas has taken millions in JobKeeper wage subsidies, more than any other company, with the express intent of keeping people employed. But now Alan Joyce wants to destroy thousands more livelihoods. This is callous abuse of public money. The chief executive must resign,” TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said at the time.

Federal Court case lodged to stop Qantas from outsourcing 2,000 jobs
Federal Court case lodged to stop Qantas from outsourcing 2,000 jobs
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About the author

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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of nestegg and Smart Property Investment. Email Maja at [email protected]

About the author

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Maja Garaca Djurdjevic

Maja Garaca Djurdjevic is the editor of nestegg and Smart Property Investment. Email Maja at [email protected]

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