‘sickening’ $12M Qantas remuneration as workers face outsourcing

The Transport Workers’ Union has slammed Qantas management for trying to axe and outsource 2,500 workers while paying themselves almost $12 million in remuneration and defrerred shares, according the annual report released today.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s total remuneration was $4.8 million while Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans remuneration was $1.7 million. Mr Joyce is the 17th largest shareholder in Qantas.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said Qantas management continued to pay themselves well while they plot to bring in underpaid workers to do the airline’s entire ground operations.

“It is utterly sickening to read about the millions of dollars that Qantas management continue to pay themselves while their workers are struggling on Jobkeeper and while 2,500 workers are being ear-marked for the scrap heap through a spiteful outsourcing plan. It shows just how arrogant and out of touch this management is when they believe that stalling their million-dollar salaries and share options for a few months will make it look like they are sharing the burden. They literally have no idea what life is like for their workers who are terrified about their futures as the axe swings over their heads,” Kaine said.

“It is time for the Federal Government to seriously consider taking an equity stake in Qantas. We need executive salaries to be capped and bonuses cancelled permanently. We need to know that public money including Jobkeeper will do what it was intended for, to keep a connection with workers. We need decent jobs that allow people to support their families. We do not need outsourcing to the lowest bidder resulting in workers being ripped off and safety and service compromised,” he added.

Earlier today, Sydney airport workers and Tanya Plibersek MP opened a campaign office in the same building as Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s electoral office. Airport workers will use the office to plan events and actions, provide support for stood down and unemployed aviation workers, lobby politicians and engage with the local community about the Federal Government’s lack of action on aviation.

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

Swissport, 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 work.

Last Friday Qantas workers from Sydney airport delivered a letter to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce asking him not to outsource their jobs.

The public and politicians are being asked to sign a petition to the Qantas board: https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/save-qantas-jobs/

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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