MEDIA STATEMENT: Qantas pay offer still below inflation, with strings attached
The Australian Services Union says it will continue to push on behalf of Qantas workers for fairer pay and conditions after the airline tabled a modest increase of its original pay offer – up from 2% to 3% pay increases, which remains under inflation.
The 3% offer also comes with strings attached, including workers accepting a 2-year wage freeze.
It comes after Qantas management announced a $1.2-1.3 billion expected underlying profit and fuelled a rift between management and staff by moving to strip pay and conditions from 1 in 3 workers at the company, with the union adamant no deal will be struck until Qantas abandons this position.
ASU Assistant National Secretary Emeline Gaske said workers would not allow Qantas management to divide its workforce and would only accept a deal that maintained all conditions and ensured pay keeps up with the cost of living.
“Workers at Qantas have copped wage freezes for 2 years during the pandemic and it seems that has gone straight into the Qantas’ profits and executive pay,” Ms Gaske said.
“While we’re pleased that Qantas is moving its pay offer closer to a fair deal, 3% is still below cost of living increases and the Fair Work Commission annual wage increase of 4.6%.
“Ultimately, any deal is contingent on Qantas abandoning plans to cut one-third of its workers off the workplace agreement, which would strip them of their conditions.
“This is one workforce which will stand together and not be divided, so there is a lot more progress required before workers will agree to a new deal with Qantas.”
Ms Gaske said the union was focussed on improving all its members’ working lives and turning around the company’s short-sighted workplace strategies.
“First Qantas offshored customer service call centre jobs, then they sacked 2,000 workers all while receiving almost $1 billion in JobKeeper during the pandemic and now they’re trying to remove a third of its workforce from the workplace agreement.
“With Qantas return in to record profitability, workers have drawn a line in the sand – they have shared the pain during the pandemic, and it is now fair that they share in the company’s success with well-paid, fair, secure jobs for all workers.
“We all work for one airline and have been part of one workplace agreement and one set of workplace conditions for over 20 years. The Australian Services Union will fight this every step of the way – we want a fair deal for all workers.”
Media Contact: Tim O’Halloran 0409 059 617