An announcement by Qantas confirmed that the airline plans to save $2 billion by cutting 5000 jobs nationally. Unions warned that more retrenchments are to be expected with Canberra Airport possibly hardest hit.
This announcement has been met with resistance from Australian Services Union ACT secretary Sally McManus who said that Canberra Airport could not afford the loss of staff as this will compromise service delivery at the busy airport.
McManus told the Sydney Morning Herald, “Qantas is now considering whether they will cut deeper at each airport. We are waiting for their decision on this.”
In March the company opened voluntary redundancies in an effort to meet the requirements of their cost saving policy. The job cutting measures will also see Qantas reduce their number of pilots for the first time in 40 years.
“Qantas is betting that lots of people will put in for voluntary redundancies and I think that’s a serious miscalculation given the state of the job market in Canberra,” said McManus.
“Canberra is particularly affected by cuts to public service jobs and people aren’t as willing to take the risk.”
About this, Transport Workers Union spokesman Ben Sweaney said, “The Transport Workers Union continues to work with Qantas to avoid job losses below-the-wing at Canberra Airport.”
He added that, “The union rejects the position that jobs need to be shed to get the company back into a healthy position. The only job that should go is that of Alan Joyce.”
In reaction to this Qantas said the planned retrenchments have been communicated to their employees. “We’re working through that process in all ports, including Canberra Airport,” said their spokesperson.
“Our focus is looking after our people the best we can as we take the necessary steps to strengthen our business.”