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AWU supporting Qantas members after further stand downs announced

May 13, 2020

The Australian Workers’ Union and members of the Alliance Unions will continue to stand up for members rights in the latest round of stand downs announced by Qantas.

Qantas has just revealed that up to a further 35 workers are being stood down across the Sydney-based Aircraft Engineering group.

This will mean that around two-thirds of the group will now be stood down from this Saturday (16 May) until at least 9 June.

The news comes just a few days after Qantas announced it has extended its domestic flight cancellations to the end of June and for international flights till the end of July.

Qantas has told the Qantas Engineers Alliance Unions – made up of the AWU, the Electrical Trades Union and The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ union – that there will be no other stand downs in the mainline workforce during this latest round.

AWU Aircraft Appearance Delegate and NSW Branch President Lorna Fairless said the Alliance Unions would be pursuing Qantas for more information about entitlement to JobKeeper on behalf of its members.

Ms Fairless said: “This is of course a worrying time for all Qantas staff and the Alliance Unions will be working with Qantas to ensure that our members fully understand the stand down process. It’s frustrating that our members only received their stand down notification letters a few days before the actual day of stand down.

“People are also confused about their pay periods and how it aligns with JobKeeper and we expect Qantas to be able to answer all of their questions and promptly.”

The latest round on stand downs will commence on Saturday May 16. Members who were already stood down will return to work, and those currently operating will be stood down on a rotating basis.

Qantas also announced that some of its Sydney main line operations will also be rotated back to work with members currently working to be stood down. Department managers will advise affected employees this week.

The Alliance Unions expect more announcements about any further stand downs to be announced just before 9 June. Organisers and delegates will be working with Qantas to ensure the any next stage proceeds more smoothly.

As it stands currently around 60% of the 1600 plus Qantas national main line engineering workforce will be stood down from Monday.

In further news, the Alliance Unions expect the Federal Court to deliver its decision over access to sick leave whilst being stood down on May 18th. We will keep members updated on this and other matters.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about the communications Qantas sends you, please contact your union.

There has never been a more important time to be a member of your union – join today.

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