ITF aviation blog November 9, 2011 4:21 pm.
Solidarity with Qantas workersThe ITF is counting on unionists across the world to back their aviation colleagues in Australia who are embroiled in a row over job security and pay.Labour organisations are showing solidarity with Qantas workers in Australia by participating in an ITF international day of action on 16 November. Members of ITF-affiliated unions, including the Australian and International Pilots’ Association, Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers’ Association and Transport Workers Union, who are employed by the airline, have been demanding pay and job security guarantees. They also want to ensure that jobs are not undercut through outsourcing or offshoring; the company has announced that it wants to restructure the company and move jobs to Asia.The workers were presented with an ultimatum that would have seen the wholesale outsourcing of jobs and given workers a pay rise that failed to match inflation. Then, on 29 October, Qantas took the extreme and unprecedented step of shutting the airline down and locking out its employees – a move that has been widely condemned. Australia’s national tribunal Fair Work Australia ordered the airline to reopen on 30 October and set a 21-day period for negotiation between the unions and Qantas before the matter is taken into arbitration.