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Qantas hits back at union’s coronavirus concerns with ‘sledgehammer’ statement

Article image for Qantas hits back at union’s coronavirus concerns with ‘sledgehammer’ statement

Qantas has come out swinging at the Transport Workers Union saying airline workers’ concerns about the coronavirus are a result of “fearmongering”.

A Qantas employee, and union delegate, was stood down on the weekend after telling colleagues they didn’t have to clean planes coming from China if they held fears for their safety.

The “highly trained health and safety representative” is said to be “gutted”, with the union refusing to back down.

“We make no apologies for bringing to the attention of the public that workers are concerned.

“This particular worker, who I spoke with last night Alan, is honest, he’s earnest, he’s genuine and he’s gutted that he’s been stood down.

“The gang that he represents are now scared and they don’t have a voice.”

But Qantas says the union “would rather stoke fear”, following their “standard template – safety fears over safety facts”.

Full statement from Qantas

“What we see with the TWU is fearmongering dressed up as concern, to push an industrial agenda. Their reaction to coronavirus follows their standard template – safety fears over safety facts.

We’ve given them all the best medical advice on how incredibly low the risks are from servicing empty aircraft that have flown in from China. We’ve put extra precautions in place, again based on the best medical advice. But the TWU would rather stoke fear while we bring Australians home.

The TWU knows that airlines are incredibly safe because we have some of the best risk management systems in the world – but you wouldn’t know that from the way they’re carrying on. We take the safety of our people and passengers extremely seriously, and we stand by our record.”

Alan Jones says it’s wrong for Qantas “to pull out the big corporate sledgehammer” when employees obviously have concerns.

“They’re frightened to speak up, they’re terrified. They feel that bullying is really part and parcel of the show,” says Alan.

“It’s intimidation and bullying and how do they get away with it? No one else can.”

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview



EXCLUSIVE | Qantas employee stood down over cleaning flights from China