Aussie Quantas Workers Win Huge Vicory As Court Rules Sackings As Illegal
Aussie airline workers are celebrating a huge victory in the High Court as the sacking of 1,700 ground and baggage staff during the pandemic by Qantas the Australian national airline has been ruled illegal.
In a case brought by the Transport Workers Union (TWU) two Federal Court rulings found that Qantasâ€™ outsourcing of jobs breached Australiaâ€™s Fair Work Act and was designed by Quantas to eliminate TWU members from collective bargaining and protected industrial action.
Michael Kaine, National Secretary of the TWU, said : â€śThe High Court has found Qantas responsible for the largest case of illegal sackings in Australian corporate history. The Qantas board and managing director Alan Joyce must be held accountable for the devastation they have caused these workers and their families. The final act of this board should be to strip Alan Joyce of his bonuses and follow him out the door.â€ť
â€śDecisions in aviation need to be made in the interest of the Australian community and workers. An independent Safe and Secure Skies Commission, and closing loopholes in the Fair Work Act would ensure that decisions like Qantasâ€™ outsourcing canâ€™t be made again, and that Australiaâ€™s aviation industry works in the interest of the Australian people.â€ť
The legal battle will return to Australiaâ€™s Federal Court where it will determine how much compensation former Qantas workers will receive and what action is taken against the airline.
Michael Kaine said the TWU will now seek â€śsignificantâ€ť compensation and penalties in the federal court.
Steve Cotton, General Secretary of the International Transport Workersâ€™ Federation (ITF) welcomed the win: â€śWe absolutely welcome the news that the courts have found Qantas guilty of union busting. Let this be a lesson to other companies looking to exploit workers for corporate greed â€“ unions fight for workers, and unions win for workers.â€ť
â€śRampant outsourcing to cut costs and devastate labour standards will not win. In this case itâ€™s illegal and itâ€™s unsustainable. The industry must reform if it is to be economically, socially and environmentally sustainable in the future, and that will only happen if aviation workersâ€™ rights are respected, and their contribution recognised.â€ť