Qantas workers win thousands in backpay after court backs JobKeeper claim

Qantas workers can expect to receive significant backpay after a court agreed that Qantas had not correctly applied the JobKeeper wage subsidy.

The ASU, TWU and FAAA took Qantas to court for manipulating JobKeeper to minimise amounts paid to workers.

Airline unions have been fighting for the rights of their members at Qantas on multiple fronts since the beginning of the pandemic which has caused significant job losses across the aviation sector and has been used as an excuse to outsource and cut additional jobs.

The Morrison Government has refused calls to put in place an aviation industry support plan.

This decision coincides with the start of a planned two-day protest by TWU members against Qantas’s planned outsourcing of huge numbers of ground crew jobs.

As noted by ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“Qantas has repeatedly, cynically used this pandemic as an excuse to attack their own workforce.

“We welcome the decision of the Court but it should never have been necessary for these workers and their unions to take their employer to court to get full and proper access to federal government emergency assistance.

“This issue should have been resolved by Qantas months ago. The fact that Qantas workers and their unions had to take this case during this crisis to have the issue resolved is staggering, even by Qantas’ standards.

“Airline workers have stood together during this crisis and demonstrated the power of working people standing up and demanding fair treatment, and the entire union movement stands with them.”

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