On 2 April 2020, your ASU was in the Fair Work Commission arguing our case for stood down workers to be paid sick and carers leave. Qantas was represented by a top end of town law firm and a Queens Counsel which would have cost the company a lot of money.

Sick leave is an important entitlement in normal times, but it’s more vital than ever during the COVID19 pandemic. It’s unfair that Qantas won’t support sick employees during this troubled time. That’s why we took our dispute to the Fair Work Commission.

At the Fair Work Commission, Qantas refused to change its position at all. It wouldn’t even consider paying sick leave to employees who were already taking it!

On 3 April, Fair Work Commission Deputy President Sams released a Statement with his recommendations about the sick leave dispute.

The Deputy President noted that many unions were in dispute with Qantas about this issue, including the ASU, TWU, AMWU, ETU, AWU. The members of all these unions have the same problem: they won’t have access to the sick leave during the stand down.

He went on to say that if Qantas negotiated with all the unions together, they might be able resolve the problem. At least, they could narrow the issues in dispute between Qantas and the unions. This would save time and money for everyone.

The Deputy President recommended that the Australian Council of Trade Unions (the union peak body) could help by coordinating the unions.

We agree! The ASU has been working with the ACTU and the other unions on this issue since it became clear that Qantas wouldn’t do the right thing and pay sick leave to stood down employees.

You can read the full statement from Deputy President Sams here.

Qantas should get the message.

We know that over many years Qantas have been trying to divide and conquer the workforce but we hope in these difficult times where we all need to work together that they talk to us to solve this issue without resorting to lawyers at 50 paces. In these uncertain times everyone deserves better than the past approach.

Our Short message is: It’s time to take the issue seriously! Talk to us Qantas!

For more information please contact:
ASU Tasmanian Coordinator Aaron De La Torre | 0427 813 821 | adelatorre@asuvictas.com.au

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