TWU urges Government to give Jobkeeper to aviation workers in Victoria lockdown

The Transport Workers’ Union is urging the Federal Government to make changes to Jobkeeper to allow Victorian aviation workers shut out of the payment access to it.

TWU Vic/Tas Branch Secretary John Berger said aviation workers shut out of Jobkeeper were struggling with now little hope of picking up even temporary work since the lockdown came into effect. The Federal Government excluded Australian taxpaying workers from the Jobkeeper payment whose companies are owned by foreign governments, such as airline catering and ground services company Dnata.

“These workers have endured six months on limited income after they were shut out of Jobkeeper. Now any temporary work they have picked up or hope to pick up is gone with the full lockdown in place. I am urging the Federal Government to do the right thing, as it has done on paid pandemic leave, and to allow these aviation workers access to Jobkeeper,” Berger said.

“They have paid taxes all their lives and cannot understand why they are being shut out of the payment that millions of other Australian workers are getting. Times are very tough right now, we are asking that this be taken into account and for Scott Morrison to give Victorian aviation workers and their families a lifeline,” he added.

Thousands of aviation workers shut out of Jobkeeper been urging the Federal Government for months to allow them access to the payment. The Senate in June narrowly defeated a motion seeking to include them.

Aviation workers have endorsed a national plan they want the Federal Government to implement which would see it take a greater role in regulating the industry, including: equity stakes for struggling businesses; ensuring workers are paid the same rate for the same work; making safety a number one priority; ensuring all airport workers stood down have access to Jobkeeper; and capping CEO pay.

A survey shows 70% of aviation workers have been stood down from their jobs with almost 40% stating they have no income. Over 1,000 cabin crew, airline caterers, cleaners, baggage handlers, ramp workers, security officials, refuellers and drivers responded to the survey with almost 30% stating they have had to access their superannuation to get by. Almost half of respondents are worried they won’t be able to support their families throughout the crisis while 20% say they are worried they will lose their house.

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