Qantas CEO Alan Joyce this morning announced that 6,000 employees will lose their jobs as a direct result of the coronavirus.
Citing the coronavirus, Qantas will lay off 6,000 staff and will pursue $1.9 billion in capital to guide the airline through the crisis. The redundancies will envelop office roles (1450 jobs), ground operations including baggage handlers (1500 jobs), cabin crew (1050), engineering (630) and pilots (220). Around 15,000 employees have been stood down until flying returns.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said “it will take years before international flying returns to what it was…we have to position ourselves for several years where revenue will be much lower. And that means becoming a smaller airline in the short term.”
Qantas said its board had asked Mr Joyce to remain CEO at least until the middle of 2023 to ensure “leadership, experience and stability”
Back in May, The Federal Court has ruled in favour of Qantas, allowing the airline to not pay their staff sick pay during the coronavirus pandemic.
In response, the Transport Workers Union called the decision “bitterly disappointing”, and are now considering an appeal.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) is considering an appeal and described the court’s decision as “bitterly disappointing”.
Back in April, a spokesperson for the airline said that “employees who are stood down are not eligible to receive paid sick leave because there is no work for employees to be absent from but they can access annual, long service leave and other support…we know it’s a very difficult time.”
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine addressed the media, stating that “the ruling is bitterly disappointing for Qantas workers battling serious illnesses and their families…we are looking to appeal this judgment and seek redress for these workers.”
The airline also disclosed that it was losing $40 million a week while the fleet was grounded due to the pandemic. Qantas has since secured $550 million in taxpayer funds.
“It is absolutely shameful that during this crisis Qantas is putting corporate greed over worker welfare and refusing to let its workers access their sick leave,” said Australian Workers’ Union National Secretary Dan Walton.
Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union National Assistant Secretary Glenn Thompson called it “a dark day” for many Qantas workers.
Back in April, Qantas was facing legal action from their employees after 50 allegedly contracted COVID-19.
At the time, Bruce Roberts, the vice president of The Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia spoke to The Guardian, explaining that they’ve begun walking possible legal avenues for staff, with the FAAA noting the volcanic dissatisfaction of their members regarding the way the airline handled the risk of exposure.
“Our members have asked us to explore what options are available to them,” he said.