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Qantas members deserve access to JobKeeper payments

April 4, 2020

The Qantas Engineers Alliance is seeking urgent answers from Qantas management over its plans to draw on the newly announced JobKeeper allowance.

The Alliance, comprised of The Australian Workers’ Union (AWU), Electrical Trades Union and The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, says thousands of Qantas employees need this wage subsidy as a matter of priority.

The Alliance has backed the ACTU’s calls for Qantas to implement the JobKeeper program across its workforce.

The ACTU has written to Alan Joyce on behalf of all affiliated unions representing Qantas workers seeking ‘advice on Qantas’s intentions in accessing this program’, and how it will implemented across the 30,000 strong workforce.

The letter written by ACTU President Michele O’Neil also calls for urgent clarity on how it will affect the 20,000 employees already stood down by Qantas and what measures the company will put in place for those not eligible for the subsidy.

Daniel Walton, National Secretary of the AWU, said: “The JobKeeper allowance will be a lifeline for many of our members who are worried about how they will get through the next few weeks and months while being stood down.

“They deserve to know as soon as possible about when they will be able to access these funds. It will provide valuable peace of mind and it is the very least Qantas can do right now.”

Qantas is also being called one to ensure workers who have taken leave during the stand down have their leave credited where the company receives the subsidy on their behalf.

The Alliance is also progressing with its Federal Court fight to get Qantas to pay sick leave to stood down workers and has also secured apprentice jobs at the Brisbane Heavy Maintenance site.

The Alliance will continue to work with Qantas to ensure as many members as possible are kept in full-time employment and are treated fairly and lawfully throughout the COVID-19 crisis.

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