Air New Zealand must 'save as many high-skilled jobs as it can'

Union argues maintenance jobs that were offshored to Singapore in 2014 should be brought back to NZ

Air New Zealand must 'save as many high-skilled jobs as it can'

Engineers at Air New Zealand are calling for their company to bring work back from overseas and protect the communities of skilled kiwis who need work.

Last week, workers were told the company plans to axe almost 300 engineering and maintenance jobs as part of their radical downsizing.

In particular, E tū members think maintenance jobs that were offshored to Singapore in 2014 should be brought back to New Zealand.

Peter Lees, E tū delegate and licensed aircraft engineer in Christchurch, said that now is the time for Air New Zealand to serve the people of New Zealand.

“Our engineers produce work recognised around the world as being of the highest quality and take their responsibility to look after passengers very seriously. The company needs to do the right thing and do everything possible to save as many high-skilled jobs as it can.”

E tū Negotiation Specialist Paul Graham added that bringing skilled jobs back to New Zealand is the right thing to do.

“Sending work offshore where labour standards are lower was never the responsible move,” said Graham.

“Engineers’ attempts to discuss the issue have been rebuffed by management. They do not want to discuss the alternatives and are ignoring the insights and abilities of experienced engineers. It breaks their commitment to proper engagement with their workforce.”

Graham added that with last week’s Budget focus on saving jobs, and with the significant public funding Air New Zealand has received, the company now needs to play its part as the national carrier.

“E tū’s Rebuild Better campaign is all about having workers at the heart of our COVID-19 recovery. The key principles include a wages-led recovery, involving union members in all decisions, and keeping and creating decent jobs,” he said.

“It’s clear that Air New Zealand are not on the path to rebuilding better, and that needs to change.”

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