If you haven’t heard already, trains are back in fashion now because no one can afford Qantas flights anymore.
It may take three times longer, but trains have become the transport of choice for many Australians travelling interstate.
Thanks to exorbitant price hikes, those travelling by plane have had to fork out way more than they would have pre-pandemic.
So where did all the airfare money go? Not to workers at Qantas, that’s for sure.
Qantas celebrates record breaking profit. Just don’t ask how it happened
Qantas announced this week that it is set to post a record $2.48 billion full-year profit for the 2023 financial year.
The Guardian reports that this forecast is almost $1 billion higher than the airline’s previous profit record of $1.6 billion in 2018.
To put it another way: you could fly almost half a million Australians to Europe with that $1 billion*.
Their secret to making another record-profit? Qantas workers know that a huge share of this profit is the result of outsourcing their jobs to multiple companies, and that Qantas has set up labour-hire companies, enabling the airline to drive down wages and conditions for the benefit of outgoing chief executive Alan Joyce and Qantas shareholders.
Customers have lost out too. Standards have fallen dramatically with constant flight delays and lost luggage, all because good, secure jobs were outsourced.
And there was the fact that Qantas took $2 billion of taxpayers’ money during 2020 and 2021 under the cover of the pandemic then unlawfully sacked 1700 workers.
Same job, same pay. It’s simple
When a company can record a $2.48 billion profit during a cost-of-living crisis, we know corporate greed has reached unacceptable levels, particularly when it depends upon undercutting secure jobs and not paying workers properly.
Our current laws have loopholes that have been used by big business to devise new ways to get out of paying proper wages and entitlements.
It is time the government closed loopholes to protect Australian workers against Alan Joyce’s business model. If two workers at the same company are doing the same job, they should be paid the same amount – nothing could be simpler or fairer than that.
Australia’s workplace laws must be updated to protect workers and keep wages moving.
*Calculated with Qantas ticket prices for an Airbus A380-800 flight to London or Paris.
Cover photo credit: Josh Withers on Unsplash
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