31 March 2023
The TWU has slammed Qantas’ belated 100-year anniversary celebration, the cost of which could run into the hundreds of thousands, as the company still refuses to reinstate illegally sacked ground handlers and continues to drive down pay and conditions for workers.
The gala follows reports that upon his exit from the company at the end of this year, CEO Alan Joyce could pocket a payout of up to $24 million. During the pandemic Qantas received $2.7 billion in community funds and only recently posted half-yearly underlying profits of $1.4 billion.
In 2018, when Alan Joyce received a $24 million pay package, he was the highest-paid CEO in Australia, and the highest paid airline CEO in the world.
Recently Rivet refuellers, who primarily service Qantas planes, recently took 24-hour strike action, faced with increasing workloads and additional responsibilities while pay and conditions are going backwards.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the excessive celebration as Joyce set himself up for a lucrative exit was appalling.
“It is an absolute kick in the guts to the current workforce and the 1700 illegally outsourced ground workers that Qantas management continues to pamper themselves with excessive corporate indulgence while they continue to suffer.”
“Joyce has set himself up for a windfall retirement next year, and in the meantime he’s living large off the backs of the workers whose pay and conditions he’s deliberately driven down. This is not a time for celebration, it’s a time to be rebuilding the Spirit of Australia with good, decent jobs and service standards.”
“The Australian public cannot be hoodwinked by cash splashes on lounge upgrades or fancy galas. It is sickening that $1.4 billion in half-yearly profits is clearly being funnelled into management’s decadent festivities at the expense of workers and the travelling public.”
“The Federal Government must urgently implement a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to return Qantas and the aviation industry to good, secure jobs and decent standards, rather than lavish rewards for executives.”
Media contact: Emily Mead 0432 552 895