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Why the Transport Workers Union is ‘bemused’ by Qantas cutting 2000 jobs

Article image for Why the Transport Workers Union is ‘bemused’ by Qantas cutting 2000 jobs

Qantas has announced it will cut 2000 jobs as it outsources all ground handling work at 10 major Australian airports.

It comes after the airline asked ground handling workers to bid for their jobs.

Since COVID-19 hit, the airline has laid off 8500 workers, almost a third of its pre-pandemic workforce of 29,000.

In August, the airline announced a ground operations review in a bid to save up to $100 million by outsourcing baggage handling and cleaning, as COVID-19 decimated airline profits.

National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union, Michael Kaine, said he’s been left “absolutely bemused as to why Qantas has made this decision”.

“The bid that was put in by workers, for their own jobs, in terms of expertise, experience and cost, was the best bid,” he told Tom Elliott.

He said workers had “put to Qantas a bid that, on the base of what Qantas put to us, comes in below the average cost that Qantas was expecting”.

“This is Qantas … pushing away workers because they are strong.

“Many of those companies that Qantas wants to push the work to are companies that have terrible records of exploitation.

“It really is a dark day for Qantas.”

Qantas posted a $2.7 billion statutory loss in the 2020 financial year due to the pandemic.

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