Qantas

Unions covering the aviation sector have condemned Qantas' decision to sack 6000 staff and keep a further 15,000 workers stood down indefinitely, reports Jim McIlroy.

Virgin and Qantas planes

The federal government's determination to pursue a market solution not only jeopardises Virgin employees' jobs, it flies in the face of finding an ecological solution to long-distance travel, argues Jim McIlroy.

Jim McIlroy reports unions are angry that Qantas has been handed a hefty bail-out while workers have been left on the scrap heap.

Thirty refugee supporters protested outside the Melbourne headquarters of Jetstar on November 9, demanding that Qantas (Jetstar's parent company) cease participating in the deportation of asylum seekers.

Refugee activists are stepping up pressure on Qantas to halt its participation in the deportation of refugees from Australia, hoping this will help increase pressure on other airlines to follow suit.

Protests are planned outside Qantas offices in Sydney and Melbourne and a campaign has been launched to petition Qantas and 11 other airlines not to let the Australian government use their aircraft, pilots or crew to deport a Tamil family back to danger in Sri Lanka.

Jasmine Pilbrow faced court on April 7 after she stood up for a refugee who was being deported on her Qantas flight.
"Qantas in crisis: 1000 jobs to go; Warning of $300 million loss; [federal transport minister Warren] Truss rules out aid," was the dramatic headline on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald on December 5. The deep problems ailing Australia's national airline pose a clear choice between two options: allow the airline to battle on in the chaos of the international airline wars, or re-nationalise Qantas as a key part of a socially progressive and environmentally sustainable public transport policy.
Qantas has announced the closure of its maintenance base for Boeing 747 aircraft at Avalon airport in Victoria. About 300 workers are to be sacked, most of them from the local town of Geelong. The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association has questioned company claims that the jobs will be transferred to the more efficient Brisbane maintenance base, suggesting that a shortage of skilled workers in Brisbane will mean the maintenance is mainly done offshore in south-east Asia. These job losses add to a long string of bad news for employment in Geelong.
After unilaterally locking out the Qantas workforce in October, grounding the fleet and leaving workers and travellers stranded, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has been handed a positive outcome by the federal government’s Fair Work Australia (FWA). Joyce’s lockout resulted on October 30 in FWA terminating the legal, protected industrial action that Qantas unions had voted for, rewarding Joyce’s industrial sabotage.
See also: Unions respond to lock out: 'This is blackmail' Occupy Sydney supports Qantas workers Unions stand up to Qantas management All of Green Left's extensive Occupy coverage “I don't understand what the Occupy protests are all about,” is one common complaint in response to the global movement against corporate power.

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