Qantas has been accused of using COVID-19 as cover to sack thousands of Australian workers and replace them with cheap labour from overseas.
Qantas on Monday confirmed 2000 ground service jobs would be axed as part of the embattled airline’s cost overhaul which has been sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. Ground servicing at 10 major Australia airports will be outsourced to a number of overseas aviation operators.
A union delegation arrived in Canberra on Thursday, demanding the government intervene to prevent the cuts.
Sean Toohey has been a Qantas groundworker at Canberra Airport for four years, before finding out his job had been cut on Monday.
He said he was told he would be required to stick around until the company transitioned away, and said finding a new job in the pandemic-stricken economy would be almost impossible.
“(Qantas CEO) Alan Joyce said we were a family and then pretty quickly threw us to the kerb,” he said.
“We’re hoping the Australian public and the government get behind us to say this isn’t right. (Then) I can then tell my three girls that we do the right thing, that we look after each other.
Camera IconQantas CEO Alan Joyce has been accused of ‘throwing his workers to the kerb’. Credit: AAP,