House debates

Monday, 9 November 2020

Statements by Members


4:22 pm

Photo of Matt ThistlethwaiteMatt Thistlethwaite (Kingsford Smith, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Assistant Minister for Financial Services) Share this | | Hansard source

Qantas is at it again. The once proud national airline is sacking even more of its workers. From a workforce of around 29,000 at the start of the year, Qantas made 6,000 workers redundant a few months ago. Then it followed up with the despicable outsourcing of the jobs of 2½ thousand maintenance workers to a foreign corporation on lower wages and conditions. Now late last week we get yet more job losses from Qantas, with its decision to permanently close its service and sales desks at all its airports and lounges. This means the loss of another 100 Qantas jobs. It means passengers will be left to deal with cancellations and last-minute booking changes themselves or through a call centre. The removal of customer service staff will be hard for older passengers and people with disability.

Qantas is an important part of the fabric of Australia. It is a 100-year-old company that Australians are rightfully proud of. I say to the board and the management of Qantas: don't trash that good reputation that your company has with the Australian people.

The Morrison government unfortunately has stood by and allowed this to occur, despite the fact that the most Qantas workers actually live in the Prime Minister's electorate. This morning I was proud to stand in solidarity with affected Qantas workers and other aviation staff here at Parliament House to call on the Morrison government to intervene here, to get to Qantas and save their jobs and come up with a plan for aviation.