Qantas workers rally to defend their jobs

Qantas workers are "very worried" about their jobs, full-time Qantas baggage handler Jim Mitropoulos told a rally of more than 100 airport workers in Tempe on March 30.

Mitropoulos has worked at Sydney Airport for 28 years. He said: "Management has destroyed this company. But if they want to bring it on, we will take them on."

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce announced recently that 5000 jobs would go at the airline's various facilities around the country. The rally was organised by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) to demand job security and union rights.

TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon told the crowd that the union would organise further protests to demand Qantas maintain workers' jobs. "We've got 4000 people who don't have part-time bills, but have part-time jobs."

Sheldon told the Sydney Morning Herald: "Our intention is not to dislocate travellers, but we will take whatever steps necessary into the future to make sure Qantas doesn't further part-time our jobs. And that includes civil disobedience as long as the public supports us."

TWU aviation representative Shane O'Brien said: "This is the start of a long campaign to bring the [Tony] Abbott government and the Qantas board to heel. We will be asking you to come out again. Thank you all for being prepared to fight for the survival of Qantas."

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