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Jetstar workers feeling “abandoned” by Qantas

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Newcastle-based Jetstar cabin crew say they are feeling “abandoned” after parent company Qantas announced massive job cuts.

The crew, members of the Transport Worker’s Union (TWU), joined Federal and Local Members of Parliament at the Newcastle Airport today to voice their concerns.

Jetstar is shutting down 200 regional jobs at the Williamtown site.

After 16 years in the Hunter, workers have been told the maintenance facility and crew base in Newcastle is closing as part of Qantas job cuts.

The TWU used this morning’s meeting to call on Jetstar and its parent company Qantas to reverse the decision to close down jobs and workplaces at Newcastle Airport.

TWU state secretary Richard Olsen said members were feeling neglected by the company.

“Cabin Crew who are based at Newcastle are already not working, and have now been abandoned by the company,” he said.

“Members were provided with two-weeks-notice, and there has been no support offered by the company since.

“Families have had their lives destroyed by this announcement. Families who work at Newcastle Airport, for example cabin crew married to engineers working at the same site.

“Families whose members have worked for many of the 16 years that Jetstar has been in Newcastle, who have put down roots, built up lives and have a home, and a mortgage.”

Jetstar has offered to let some workers go to Melbourne or Brisbane to follow their jobs, however, no relocation costs have been offered. 

“Today we ask Jetstar the question, why abandon regional jobs?” Mr Olsen said.

“If Jetstar must transfer workers, why not Sydney where Jetstar are using labour hire companies to fill jobs these members could do?

“Jetstar are not committed to maintaining full-time jobs closer to home for these workers.” 

Mr Olsen said the airline had uncaringly fobbed off workers because the facilities “no longer suited operational needs”. 

The TWU has called for ‘aviation keeper’ for all aviation workers to be extended beyond September to give workers and companies assurances while planes effectively remain grounded.

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