ASU Airport delegates met in Sydney with company reps on 17th March 2015 for a discussion about a series of “trials” Qantas is undertaking to board passengers via the backstairs of aircraft.
The meeting was at our request as management failed to consult the ASU either locally or nationally about the trial or its implications.
The trials being undertaken first in Adelaide involved ASU EBA 10 covered staff but subsequently in Sydney and in Brisbane, the new work process has been trialled by QGS ramp staff. There is a proposal to roll this out in Melbourne, Cairns and Townsville as a trial too but not utilising customer service staff.
Historically, and currently, marshalling work has been performed by customer service staff not only at Qantas but at Jetstar and Virgin Australia.
Qantas management laughably tried to suggest that because passengers were entering the aircraft via the backstairs this was different to what has happened before. So marshalling in these circumstances is different work that we have not performed.
This suggestion just shows the desperate lengths the project team will go to, to try and avoid their legal obligation to consult with hard working customer service staff and their union.
A deal is a deal
Qantas promised ASU members as part of our last EBA 10 that QGS would not do ASU Qantas customer service work. The current trial is breaching that promise as it will if the trial becomes procedure.
If we allow Qantas to breach our agreement in this regard then what other customer service work will be next as their promises will not be worth the paper they are written on.
What is next?
The ASU has written to CEO of Qantas Domestic Andrew David about our concerns.
Meetings will be held in your local airport to discuss next steps – make sure you attend these important briefings.