Qantas to lay off 300 workers

by Cameron Edmond22 Jan 2014
Qantas has confirmed the maintenance of an aircraft previously scheduled for work at its now defunct Avalon facility will be sent offshore. This has dashed hopes the task would be shifted to a Brisbane facility, creating jobs for some of the 307 engineering staff now made redundant.

Tony Lowery, head of maintenance operations at Qantas, confirmed this in a letter to Stephen Purvinas, federal secretary of Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA).

“This is not a decision which has been made lightly. I remain absolutely committed to ensuring that Qantas Engineering remains competitive, which in the current environment in particular, requires my focus on improving the productivity and efficiency of Qantas Engineering operations, which will in turn contribute to the overall profitability of Qantas,” he said in a statement.

Lowery added that moving the maintenance to an existing Qantas facility would be “unproductive and inefficient”.
Purvinas stated that the ALAEA feel cheated by Qantas negotiators. He added that the aircraft would now be sent to a facility in Hong Kong, which in the past had to send back an aircraft to the Avalon facility due to not having the technical abilities to repair it.
According to Purvinas, the ALAEA had offered a 25% reduction in take home wages to keep work in Australia, but Qantas rejected the offer.
“Now all avenues of employment appear to have been cut off for these soon to be unemployed, highly qualified professionals,” he said.
Union officials have also slammed the action. Daniel Walton, national vice president of the Australian Workers’ Union, stated the decision doesn’t bode well with the organisation’s current campaign for government assistance, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

“Here they had a golden opportunity to show they were prepared to sit down and work through a solution that was good for business and good for Australian workers,” Walton said. “Instead they have simply reached for the ‘offshore’ button. It’s sloppy and shows no regard for the 300 workers left on the scrap heap [at Avalon] last year.”

What do you think of Qantas’ decision?


  • by Shame, Shame Qantas 23/01/2014 5:14:13 AM

    Shame on Qantas, once was proud to say that Qantas was a an Australian company, now they take this coward act of making staff redundant and have sent the work overseas. I bet all the board members and highly paid executives got their money before they announced that Avalon would close. Qantas could have kept these staff and put the price up of flights as they have done before and blamed the cost factor of running the airline. Shame on Qantas, this airline started in Outback Queensland and if Qantas executives' had done their home work and gone back to the drawing board of how to run an airline in tough times, this would never have happened. Just a shameful act by the CEO and Executives of Qantas, they should all step down and let the people who have devoted their lives to this company, run the company. I do not believe that the Australian Government should help them at all and Qantas should be sold to someone who can ran a once great company and look after the staff who once worked for this great Australian Icon. This is a gutless act on Qantas's behalf to send the jobs overseas

Most Read