House debates

Thursday, 9 March 2023

Statements by Members

Aviation Industry: Workplace Relations

1:52 pm

Photo of Sam RaeSam Rae (Hawke, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

Yesterday Rivet workers who refuel planes for Qantas went on strike. They didn't strike because they wanted to but because they were left with no choice. After enduring the worst of the pandemic, and keeping Australia moving throughout, they've had three years without a pay rise. After a year of good-faith bargaining on their part, their employer refuses to agree to fair pay and conditions.

Qantas accounts for roughly 60 per cent of Rivet's refuelling work. Despite Qantas reporting a $1 billion half-year profit, the workers refuelling their planes have not received their fair share. The aviation industry has suffered immensely over the past few years. Those impacts have been made worse by industry leaders devaluing their own workforce by sacking their long-term staff and trying to rehire them on dodgy contracts with worse pay and worse conditions.

As Australians get back into travelling, we need an aviation industry that meets the demand and the standards that we expect. To do that, we need good, well-paid, union aviation jobs back. Rivet workers are courageously taking a stand for their industry, for their families and for all of our rights at work. Thank you to National Secretary Michael Kain, to my great mate Assistant Secretary Mem Suleyman, along with TWU officials Dissio Markos, Dean Sloan and Ash Stewart, and Rivet delegate Ross McCulloch, who have been leading the campaign on the ground.


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