Qantas will push ahead with its plan to cut and outsource about 2000 jobs, after rejecting an in-house bid from a union representing ground staff.

The jobs affected are at 10 airports around the country and impact ground operations workers including ground crew, aircraft cleaners and baggage handlers.

The plan was first flagged in August when the national carrier said it needed to restructure its ground handling operations to meet the economic and financial challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Transport Workers Union had submitted a bid on behalf of Qantas workers in accordance with terms in an enterprise agreement.

Teams from some individual airports submitted local proposals.

“Unfortunately, none of these bids met the objectives,” Qantas said in a statement on Monday.

The decision means job losses across the group as a result of the COVID-19 crisis and associated border closures total around 8,500 of its 29,000 pre-COVID workforce.


“The TWU’s in-house bid claimed that significant savings could be made,” Qantas Domestic and International CEO Andrew David said.

“But it failed to outline sufficient practical detail on how this might be achieved, despite us requesting this information multiple times throughout the process.

“Even with the involvement of a large accounting firm, the bid falls well short of what the specialist external providers were able to come up with.”

Mr David said it was another tough day for Qantas, and particularly ground handling teams and their families.

“We thank every one of them for their professionalism and contribution over the years supporting our customers and operations,” he said.


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