|Issue No 17||11 June 1999|
RAAF To Bomb Aussie Jobs
The current fleet of RAAF Hercules aircraft could be serviced in Asia or New Zealand under plans by the Federal Government to contract out the maintenance work to the lowest bidder.
The Australian Workers Union fears that hundreds of Australian jobs will be lost after the Defence Department announced plans to tender out maintenance work to private operators.
And Workers Online understand that Air New Zealand is currently front-runner for the job, helped by their lower wages in their deregulated labour market.
The AWU says a significant part of the maintenance work will effect the current fleet of C130 Hercules which have previously been maintained by RAAF personnel at the Richmond airbase.
"It now seems a distinct possibility that a company like Air New Zealand could undercut Australian companies and take the work offshore, thus creating significant further unemployment in the aircraft industry," AWU national vice president Nick Allen says.
"The Federal Government has to be told in the strongest possible terms that cost cutting
and economic rationalism has to be balanced against the dramatic effect it has on Australian jobs," he says.
"Australian aircraft should be maintained by Australians on Australian soil. We've got no problem with the work going out to tender, but the government has to look at the impact on Australian jobs as well as their budget bottom line."
The contracting-out scare follows an announcement by Qantas last month that it would begin recruiting cabin crew from low-wage bases like Thailand and New Zealand. The Flight Attendants Association are currently negotiating with the airline over that decision.
The Labor Council will seek a meeting with Defence Minister John Moore over the private tendering policy.
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Last Modified: 15 Nov 2005