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New JobKeeper ignores aviation, says TWU

written by Adam Thorn | July 21, 2020

A Tigerair Australia A320 undergoing maintenance. (BAE Systems Australia)
A Tigerair Australia A320 undergoing maintenance. (BAE Systems Australia)

The TWU has said the government’s extension of JobKeeper payments beyond September doesn’t go far enough to help the aviation industry.

National secretary Michael Kaine said, “The federal government is happy for aviation to collapse and with it thousands of jobs. The announcement to cut payments and that thousands of aviation workers will again miss out on JobKeeper shows how Scott Morrison is failing to understand the serious situation aviation is in.”

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed the support package would be extended beyond its original September expiry, but that payments would be reduced from $1,500 to $1,200 per fortnight until the end of the year.

In 2021, full-time employees would then see a further decrease in payments to just $1,000.

Meanwhile, new rules mean businesses will have to continue to reapply to ensure their revenue is still affected by the coronavirus crisis.


The Treasurer told reporters he estimates the number of people eligible for JobKeeper would reduce from 3.5 million now to just 1 million at the start of next year.

As yet, there is no additional support for those in the aviation industry despite international borders still being largely closed.

The current JobKeeper package was introduced to provide coronavirus-effected business with $1,500 per employee, per fortnight.

Companies are then legally obliged to pass that payment onto workers in a bid to keep the economy active during the pandemic.

More generally, the scheme has proved problematic for much of the aviation industry.

Many airport workers are locked out of the financial package because their firms are council-owned; while staff at dnata were similarly told they were no longer eligible because their company is owned by a foreign government. This has not been remedied by the new announcement.

“Aviation workers need adequate support and a commitment from the government that it will stand by their industry,” Kaine said.

“Aviation workers will struggle on the reduced payments, their bills still need to be paid and their families still need to be supported.

“For the thousands of workers who remain shut out of JobKeeper because of their company’s ownership structure, such as those at dnata, today is a big blow and means their jobs hang in the balance.”

Earlier in July, the industry group representing ground handlers warned 6,000 jobs would be lost if JobKeeper wasn’t extended. It followed similar interventions Virgin and Qantas in recent weeks.

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Comment (1)

  • Paul


    Already Qantas has announced job cuts in international. The new owners of the other airline have indicated job cuts due to international flights not restarting immediately. Yet the unions still want more. Greed is the only word to describe their comments.

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