Copy of letter
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash Attorney-General
Minister for Industrial Relations
By email only
8 February 2022
Re: Qantas application to terminate enterprise bargaining agreement with long-haul cabin crew
I write regarding Qantas’s recent application to the Fair Work Commission to terminate the enterprise agreement for long-haul cabin crew. I seek your urgent action on this matter, including by repealing the provisions of the Fair Work Act that allow employers such as Qantas to terminate agreements during bargaining as a negotiating tactic.
My office has heard from a very concerned Melbourne constituent who is devastated by Qantas’ termination tactic after 27 years of service. He has very real fears about his future employment should the agreement be struck down.
The recent application from Qantas to the Fair Work Commission to terminate their long-haul cabin crew’s agreement risks leaving workers with reduced income, less flexibility and a poor work-life balance. The Flight Attendants' Association of Australia (FAAA) advises that their members who cannot meet these extra demands due to care responsibilities may be forced out of the airline industry entirely.
I understand Qantas’ application to the Fair Work Commission follows an extremely short enterprise agreement negotiation period with only one offer made.
This is a dismaying outcome for workers, including many who were stood down for months during the pandemic and who risked their own lives and their families carrying out repatriation missions into Wuhan during the initial phase of the pandemic.
As you’re aware, Qantas was one of the largest recipients of government assistance during the Covid-19 pandemic. They should not undermine workers just as they are returning to work, especially when the economy is still recovering from the pandemic.
I urge you to do everything in your power to stop flight attendants’ conditions being reduced and ensure Qantas negotiates in good faith.
Adam Bandt MP
Federal Member for Melbourne Leader of the Australian Greens
CC: Alan Joyce, Chief Executive Officer, Qantas Airways, via email