Qantas to cut 2,500 airport jobs | Canberra weather


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Qantas plans to cut up to 2,500 additional employees at Australian airports, adding to the 6,000 employees already leaving the airline. Management told staff on Tuesday they were looking to outsource ground support staff, who take care of baggage, cleaning and other work for Qantas and Jetstar. The move would save Qantas $ 100 million a year as the travel industry remains devastated by the coronavirus pandemic. In June, the group laid off 6,000 workers as part of a three-year plan to cut costs by $ 15 billion. It raised $ 1.36 billion from institutional investors in June and $ 71.7 million from retail investors in August. While Qantas and Jetstar have their own ground staff at major airports, the proposal aims to bring in outside specialists who provide services at other airports. Qantas would outsource ground handling work at 10 airports: Adelaide, Alice Springs, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Melbourne, Darwin, Perth, Sydney and Townsville. About 2,000 jobs would be affected by the move. Jetstar will also outsource ground handling at six airports – Adelaide, Avalon, Brisbane, Cairns, Melbourne and Sydney Domestic – which will impact around 370 jobs. A project to outsource bus services in and around Sydney Airport could also lead to 50 job cuts. Qantas employees will have the opportunity to bid for the work under the corporate bargaining agreement. Qantas Domestic chief executive Andrew David is keen to negotiate with workers, but said the scale of operations for specialist ground handling agents at many airports offers cost advantages. “The numbers are contradictory. We are talking about a 40 percent (cost) difference,” he said. Jetstar personnel will not be able to bid for the work as they have a different industrial relations arrangement. Jetstar Group chief executive Gareth Evans said the outsourcing proposal was not part of the broader changes to Qantas announced in June, with management still working on a plan. “This is an evolving and changing plan, but the steps are necessary,” he said. The media asked Mr David if the group could outsource other roles, such as cabin crew and pilots. However, he said ground handling was a unique area and had providers capable of servicing many airports. Mr David said the group was to lose $ 10 billion this fiscal year and that outsourcing was one way to remedy the situation. “We know that the travel restrictions will eventually be lifted, but the market will be very different,” he said. “Every airline will be doing a lot lighter and more efficient, and we have to be able to compete if we are to survive.” The transport workers union has called on Qantas boss Alan Joyce to step aside from the job cuts, saying: “This is not smart management, it is economic violence.” “Qantas has taken millions of JobKeeper wage subsidies, more than any other company, with the express intention of keeping people in employment,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said in a statement. “But now Alan Joyce wants to destroy thousands of other livelihoods. It is a cruel abuse of public money. The CEO must resign.” Qantas has received $ 515 million in government support, according to a spokesperson. Most of that support was through JobKeeper ($ 267 million), which had largely gone to the laid-off workers. The rest of the funds helped bring Australians back from overseas and provide essential services. Mr David said the appeal for Mr Joyce to leave did not deserve an answer. Shares of the airline rose 2.41% to $ 3.82 at 3:30 p.m.



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