Please enter your email address to change your password.

The portal is unavailable for SA members. Please click here to visit the SA website.

AWU Stands with Qantas workers

March 19, 2020


The Alliance Unions met with Qantas today. The Alliance Unions were extremely disappointed with the approach that Qantas took in the meeting. Specific detail was missing, the analysis of reductions required in all areas was not complete, and the length of time dedicated to this vitally important meeting was disgracefully short.

At this meeting, Qantas advised that they would be providing us with further details regarding how the proposed stand downs would proceed both in mainline, and as well Brisbane Base Maintenance.

Unfortunately, the meeting gave us more questions than answers. The Alliance Unions are still seeking clarity over the exact numbers of stand downs across each business unit. In broad terms, they are proposing between 50% – 70% reductions in most areas.

Qantas was also strongly questioned regarding the possibility of maintenance schedules being brought forward to keep workers in work. Qantas rejected this proposal due to the need to preserve cash.

Qantas could not confirm today the final numbers to be reduced in Brisbane base maintenance. The Alliance Unions will be meeting with Qantas again on Monday to gain the detail on both Brisbane Base Maintenance and CMS.

The Alliance Unions have advised Qantas that the missing detailed information and further clarity around the numbers across the country, as well as several other issues, need to be provided by Monday at the latest.

Qantas did outline that they intend to commence advising employees in writing on, or about, 29 March regarding decisions on individual stand downs.

The Alliance Unions will keep you updated as soon as additional information comes to hand.

For further information please contact your Delegate or local Organiser.

In the meantime, let’s please support each other during these trying times.

Today’s announcement from Qantas is shocking and thousands of employees and their families will be worried about how they will get through the coming weeks and months.

The AWU’s focus right now is on keeping you fully informed about what is happening and the union is assessing all available options.

The Qantas Engineers’ Alliance, made up of the AWU, ETU and AMWU, will be working as one to explore all mechanisms to keep Qantas employees employed and paid throughout this time, whether that be through long service leave or accrued leave.

We will also be calling on the Federal Government to ensure the substantial airline bailout dollars actually reach Qantas workers in order to keep them employed for as long as possible and support them if and when they are stood down.


Who is impacted?

From the end of March until the end of May, Qantas is standing down a significant part of its 30,000 strong workforce in line with the Fair Work Act. In the engineering and aircraft appearance sectors up to 50 per cent of employees will be affected.

Qantas has told us that decisions on individual stand downs will be based on the skill sets and base requirements needed to fulfil the work associated with a scaled down airline fleet and any associated aircraft storage or maintenance.  Employees not stood down will be required to complete normal work.

Specific details relating to stand downs and are still being developed and we will update you as soon as possible.


Access to leave

Anyone about to be stood down will be advised in writing on the first or second day of their working block.

During a period of stand down, AWU members will be able to access any leave entitlement type that they have accumulated (Long Service Leave, Annual Leave, RDOs, TIL etc)

The Union has suggested that members with low leave balances be able to access leave up to four weeks in arrears. It understood that Qantas will allow this.


Other support

Depending on personal and family financial positions, unemployment benefits may be accessed without jeopardising the employees position. Stood down employees can seek alternative employment without their position at Qantas being jeopardised.


Next steps

More details relating to the above will be coming out in the coming days. The Union is meeting with Qantas on Friday 20 March and we will provide an update as soon as possible.

When meeting with Qantas, your Union will be pushing for all scheduled maintenance to go ahead as planned to keep as many people as possible in full-time work. We also want to ensure that any members kept on during this time are permanent and not contractors.

We will be making sure the standing down process is thoroughly explained to ou and will be working with Qantas to roll out its employee assistance program, which offers counselling services.

We will work with other unions to ensure that the Morrison Government acts urgently to ensure workers without leave accrued have immediate and smooth access to welfare and social security payments as needed.

This is an unprecedented time but we can come through this together. We want our jobs preserved, we want Qantas to survive for the long term and want our members well being looked after throughout.

The Alliance Unions will be meeting regularly with all members to share news and updates as they come through.


Please reach out to your delegate, organiser or contact us directly via our dedicated Facebook page with any concerns or questions. 

Loading cart ⌛️ ...