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          Tony Sheldon Took Aim at The Qantas Board and Management

          increase font size  reduce font Add date: 2016-11-25  Hits:62
          Core prompt: Tony Sheldon, national secretary of the Transport Workers' Union of Australia, (TWU) and Michael O'Connor, national secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, (CFMEU

          Tony Sheldon, national secretary of the Transport Workers' Union of Australia, (TWU) and Michael O'Connor, national secretary of the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, (CFMEU), have taken aim at the Qantas Board and management over their recent anti-union stance.

          Qantas Board Comes Under Further Fire From UnionsLeigh Clifford. Photo courtesy of AdelaideNow.com.au

          The ACTU has passed the resolution "in response to the sustained and coordinated strategy by Leigh Clifford and the Qantas Board and management" to undermine Australian working standards in the aviation industry.

          "In the past week alone, we have witnessed two attacks on the Australian way of life by Leigh Clifford and the Qantas Board. Leigh Clifford's comments that Qantas management should ignore unions and negotiate contracts with individual workers and the airline's attempt to muzzle the CFMEU by pulling the union's ad campaign on Qantas flights. These two decisions are clearly part of a coordinated strategy to attack workers' rights," said Tony.

          Michael O'Connor spoke in support of Tony Sheldon's comments: "Last week, Qantas muzzled the CFMEU 'Let's Spread It Around' campaign, which highlighted the great opportunities for Australians seeking work in the mining sector. Qantas pulled our ad for being too political. It is laughable that promoting safe and secure jobs for Australian men and women is deemed 'political', particularly in the same week that Qantas pulled out of its marketing campaign with Tourism Australia, for blatantly political reasons – to take on its former best friend Geoff Dixon."

          Both union leaders pointed to the "stark choice facing Australia". Tony Sheldon said: "We are facing a very clear choice between which roadAustraliatakes. Do we defend our proud tradition of fairness and secure sustainable jobs, or do we choose the race to the bottom, drive down working conditions and line the pockets of Leigh Clifford and his mates."

          Michael O'Connor said: "The cosy relationship between Qantas board ?members and the mining industry paints a picture of a club-like mentality, with exclusive membership for a few, at the expense of Australian standards of wages and conditions for Australian jobs. No less than eight members of the Qantas board have strong links with the mining industry, so is it any wonder that Qantas and our mining magnets are ganging up to attack workers and their families."

          Tony Sheldon said one example of this coordinated attack is the approach taken by Qantas towards employees of labour hire companies who do the same work as Qantas workers.

          "The TWU is about to enter into negotiations with QGS, a wholly owned Qantas labour hire company. Here we have a situation where we can have two people, doing the same day's work, but under a completely different set of wages and conditions. We have surveyed QGS workers, and an overwhelming 92% indicated that they struggle financially due to the insecure nature of their work."

          Both union leaders said they intend to campaign with other unions to protect decent standards of living. "Make no mistake, we are racing against time to halt the driving down of Australian working conditions. We won't be found wanting in our efforts to stand up for secure work for workers, and we will be asking the wider community to join us to help create opportunities for all Australians – not just the few – to get paid a fair day's pay for a fair day's work," said Tony Sheldon.

           
           
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