1000 aviation workers shut out of jobkeeper to be made redundant

One thousand aviation workers who Scott Morrison shut out of JobKeeper are to be made redundant, their company Dnata Catering has announced today.

The workers were denied JobKeeper after last minute changes in March to the scheme by the Federal Government which stopped Australian workers from receiving the payment whose companies are owned by foreign governments. Dnata is owned by the Emirates Group and employs 6,000 workers in Australia.

Dnata workers have had little income for seven months with many ineligible for full JobSeeker. The majority of the reduancies will hit Melbourne, Sydney, Bribane and Perth airports.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said he hoped the Prime Minister would address Dnata workers on the loss of their jobs.

“It is up to Scott Morrison to stand up today and explain to these 1,000 Dnata workers why their jobs are gone. It is up to him to explain why he chose to shut them out of JobKeeper and why he didn’t refused to allow them to maintain a connection to their employer, like millions of Australian workers have been able to do through JobKeeper. What was done to Dnata workers is a disgrace and what is happening today is what we warned would happen but the Prime Minister refused to listen,” he said.

“There is a daily travesty happening in the aviation industry. More jobs are lost every day, companies are under threat and the future gets bleaker. The Federal Government has no plan, no policy and no strategy. It has refused to help Dnata workers shut out of JobKeeper, it has refused to give any certainty to Virgin workers about the airline’s future and it has given Qantas carte blanche to rip the heart out of the company. The aviation industry is being decimated and the Government is standing by and watching it happen. We have consistently asked them to meet us to discuss putting in place a plan but they have refused at every turn. We cannot be surprised by the rolling job losses in aviation because of the Government’s lack of action,” Kaine said.

In June the Liberal, National and One Nation parties voted against a motion in the Senate to overturn the changes shutting Dnata workers out of JobKeeper.

Government inaction is also seeing Qantas move to axe and outsource 2,500 workers which would mean the airline would never employ another baggage handler, ramp worker or cabin cleaner.

Swissport is the preferred bidder for the Qantas work. The company, which the Fair Work Commission has confirmed pay their workers below award minimums and which has been exposed over low paid workers forced to sleep at the airports, has already begun advertising for the Qantas jobs.

The TWU has begun legal proceedings against Qantas over the outsourcing with the Fair Work Commission hearing the case again this week. A report by Ernst & Young states the criteria Qantas has set for workers to bid for their own jobs is “unattainable and unrealistic”.

In documents to workers, Qantas has given workers until October 9 to make a final bid and to find $100 million labour cost savings and $80 million to fund equipment upgrades, despite the airline choosing not to do these upgrades when it made billions of dollars in profit, including $1.5 billion in profit in 2016, $1.4 billion in profit in 2017, $1.6 billion in profit in 2018 and $1.3 billion in profit in 2019.

When Qantas announced its CEO received $24 million pay package he was the highest paid CEO in Australia and the highest paid airline executive in the world.

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