The TWU has sensationally called on Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce to resign after the business announced a further 2,500 staff could go.
The union has also demanded Prime Minister Scott Morrison personally intervene over what it terms a “misuse of taxpayers’ money” in relation to the amount of JobKeeper it’s drawn down.
National secretary Michael Kaine said, “This is not shrewd management, it is economic violence.”
Earlier on Tuesday, Qantas dropped a bombshell and revealed plans to outsource its remaining ground handling operations would result in 370 job losses at Jetstar and possibly around 2,000 at Qantas.
“If Alan Joyce’s only plan is to wield the axe on thousands of loyal staff, he should resign,” said Kaine.
“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.
“We are calling on the Prime Minister to intervene and call Qantas to account over its misuse of taxpayers’ money. There is no dividend for the public if a company like Qantas can sack thousands of workers after receiving such financial support.
“The Prime Minister has failed to date to implement a national plan on aviation. He must act now to urgently save jobs and ensure a return for the public.
“This mass sacking will destroy standards built up over decades. It will introduce a rip-off Ryanair model where neither workers nor passengers are protected. There are Qantas workers who have worked for several decades at the company and now face losing their jobs. This announcement is utterly devastating.”
The Qantas brand is proposing to outsource its ground handling operations at the 10 Australian airports where the work is done in-house, which includes Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Townsville.
Jetstar, meanwhile, has already decided to outsource ground handling at the six remaining Australian airports – Adelaide, Avalon, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney Domestic – leading to 370 job losses, subject to union consultation.
Jetstar chief executive Gareth Evans said, “We expect some unions will come out and say these suppliers are unsafe, despite the fact they are used by every other airline in this country.
“We would never compromise on safety. We’ve already worked with some of these suppliers for decades and we know their track record on safety is consistent with work done in-house.”
The news comes a week after the wider company blamed a “near-total collapse in travel demand” for recording a statutory loss before tax of $2.7 billion for the last financial year.