Unions yesterday questioned the strategy in place at Qantas, as the company announced further job losses in Aircraft Maintenance – this time affecting Sydney operations.
AMWU revealed, 108 Component Maintenance Engineers face an uncertain future following the companies announcement that it will close the Sydney component maintenance facility, transferring 747, and 767 component maintenance to Melbourne.
The move to Melbourne by the company has many questioning the strategy of the company, as only a month ago Qantas announced the closure of its heavy maintenance facility at Tullamarine, cutting around 400 jobs.
Qantas AMWU National Assistant Secretary Glenn Thompson said “for Qantas maintenance workers, it feels like their jobs have boarded an unpiloted, mystery flight with no strategic flight plan programmed in. One month jobs are going from one area, next month jobs are arriving but being lost elsewhere.”
“Our concern is firstly for these workers and their families but more broadly about a lack of strategic thinking for Australia’s national aviation engineering and maintenance capacity.”
“We have called upon Minister Albanese and the Government to convene an Aviation Industry round table to discuss the direction of the industry and to ensure that Australia has a capacity to maintain aircraft into the future.” Said Mr. Thompson.
ETU National Industrial Officer Matt Murphy added Qantas has continued, without pause or any consultation, to further reduce its highly skilled and dedicated engineering workforce.
“Sooner or later, the question needs to be asked: with major Australian companies continually announcing restructures and cuts; is this just the latest attack on Australian workers and their employment conditions?” Mr Murphy said.
Also weighing into the debate, AWU National Assistant Secretary Scott McDine has revealed Qantas employs about two-thirds of Australia’s total aircraft maintenance workforce and is responsible for providing over 50 per cent of training in the sector.
“We have major concern that Qantas has no long term vision for its engineering operations. Qantas engineering is vital to Australia’s ability to build and maintain its skills base in this sector.”
“This is another blow to Qantas workers and their families and highlights the continued uncertainty that they face. It’s time for Qantas to come clean with their long term plans for their engineering operations,” Mr McDine said.