Qantas Airways (ASX:QAN) - CEO, Alan Joyce
CEO, Alan Joyce
Sourced: Herald Sun
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  • Qantas Airways (QAN) wants to outsource over 2000 of its jobs, but the Transport Workers Union (TWU) has lodged a formal bid to save the locally-held positions
  • First announced in August, groundwork across domestic and regional airports was to be outsourced to alleviate costs during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • TWU, backed by accounting firm Ernst and Young, argues that outsourced jobs will lead to a lower quality of work
  • The union also pointed out that Qantas has received over $800 million in assistance from the Australian Government throughout the pandemic
  • Qantas confirms it has received the bid from the TWU
  • Shares in the Aussie airline gained 3.92 per cent during Tuesday, closing at $5.57 apiece

Qantas Airways’ (QAN) choice to outsource over 2000 jobs won’t go down without a fight as the Transport Workers Union (TWU) lodges a formal bid against the move.

As first reported in August this year, Qantas management opted to outsource thousands of Australian-held jobs that take place on the ground at domestic and regional airports.

This includes jobs such as baggage handling and cabin cleaning across locations in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Darwin, Cairns, Adelaide, Townsville, Canberra, and Alice Springs.

The TWU will now fight to keep those jobs local.

The union released a public address on Tuesday this week, announcing assistance from accounting firm Ernst and Young (EY).

“EY are advising us our bid is competitive,” TWU National Secretary, Michael Kaine, sent in a written statement.

“With EY’s expertise and the in-depth knowledge of our members about the Qantas processes we have been able to submit a bid which is competitive on cost while maintaining standards on service and safety,” he continued.

“We urge Qantas to award the work to their loyal, dedicated workers who they have invested time and money in training up to the high standards that Qantas passengers expect,” he explained.

EY is understood to have been working alongside the TWU since August.

Kaine also pointed to a risk in downgraded safety if the outsourcing was to go ahead.

“There is no doubt that standards in service, safety and security will slip,” he said.

“Considering the amount of public money which has been pumped into Qantas since the pandemic hit, the community has a right to expect better standards”.

This year, the Australian Federal Government has given over $800 million in assistance to Qantas.

Ongoing cuts

When Qantas announced the decision to outsource the jobs, the airline was already arranging 6000 separate redundancies due to COVID-19.

In addition, 15,000 other workers were stood down without pay as Qantas reaffirmed a changed schedule of business until at least July 2021.

Such work stoppages were fought by The Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association — a union that took Qantas to court. However, the airline successfully fought the legal battle.

Qantas confirms it has received the TWU’s bid.

Shares in Qantas gained 3.92 per cent across Tuesday trade, closing at $5.57 apiece.

QAN by the numbers
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