Airline disputes are widening (Australia Asia Worker Links)

September 25, 2011

Workers at Qantas and at Philippine Airlines are stepping up their struggle against outsourcing. Baggage handlers in the Transport Workers Union struck on Tuesday of this week, to fight against the company’s plans to shed 1000 jobs, leading to cancellations and delays throughout the Qantas network. Qantas aircraft engineers covered by the Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association have announced they are stepping up strikes and bans from October 10. The key issue for both unions is guarantees of security of employment, in the face of Qantas management’s attempts to outsource jobs on reduced wages and conditions.

A very similar dispute continues at Philippine Airlines, where management has given termination notices to 2600 workers, effective from 30 September, who are meant to apply for their old jobs with outsourcing companies at greatly reduced wages. Workers received a boost this week as the Supreme Court finally ruled the 1998 sacking of 1400 cabin crew was illegal and ordered back pay, as the company was not suffering losses to justify these redundancies. The Philippine Airlines Employees Association has continued their campaign, participating in a rally at the Presidential Palace as well as holding a various actions at airports.

The current offensive against airline workers is very widespread. The International Transport Federation is currently publicising a campaign tosupport Gulf Air flight attendants in Bahrain. Most of the attacks on airline workers by many airline companies in Asia are attempts to increase profits at the expense of their employees, by lowering wage costs via outsourcing and redundancies.

Complete article in Australia Asia Worker Links

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