The Australian Workers Union has described Qantas’s decision to send heavy maintenance work for its remaining 747s offshore as “short sighted, lazy and unnecessary.”
In a January 21 statement, the AWU said options still exist for the airline to perform the maintenance locally. “Even given Qantas’ intention to move 747 maintenance out of Avalon, the company has a range of options to keep that work in Australia,” AWU National Vice President Daniel Walton said. “Maintenance facilities in both Sydney and Brisbane have the available slots to perform this work in Australia at a world class standard, as it has always been done. We have engineers in this country with the skills to keep doing this job and doing it well.
Australian engineers have been performing maintenance on these aircraft since Qantas’ first 747 went into operation in 1971.”
“(The) decision is simply a case of lazy management,” he added. “Instead of working with Australian operations to slot 747 maintenance into existing facilities, they have simply pulled the offshoring ripcord.”
Mr Walton added that the decision doesn’t make sense while the airline is asking for government assistance to remain viable, saying, “If Qantas management is trying to convince Australians they deserve a helping hand, they might want to try meeting Australians halfway when it comes to acting like a responsible corporate citizen.”