||Issue No. 243||22 October 2004|
The Perfect Storm
Interview: The Last Bastian
Unions: High and Dry
Security: Liquid Borders
Industrial: No Bully For You
History: Radical Brisbane
International: No Vacancies
Economics: Life After Capitalism
Technology: Cyber Winners
Poetry: Do It Yourself Poetry
Review: Hard Labo(u)r
The Locker Room
Shop Till the Worker Drops
Bobís Silver Anniversary
Hit And Myth
Kangaroo Strikebreakers Spotlighted
The FAAA is offering protection to people hired on short-term contracts that require them to be available for up to two months without pay.
The new recruits, who have received 11 days training rather than the usual six weeks, finish their course on October 21 but don't have any shifts shifts scheduled until December 11.
The employees are contractually prevented from doing other work in the interim and will not be paid for at least seven weeks.
Though initially lured into training with the offer of 12 month contracts the newly trained workers have only been offered three months.
Flight Attendants Association official Steve Reed says Qantas has no intention of giving the workers fulltime jobs and is playing on their enthusiasm to work in the industry.
Reed says many resigned from fulltime jobs for the chance of working for Qantas.
"It is very cruel," says Reed "we have amended our claim in the EBA to try to get these people full time employment."
"Patrick's don't have anything on this mob."
In a letter to the FAAA one recruit expresses "disgust" that Qantas has trained her simply as back up in the event of a strike.
"This is shattering news as we are after fulltime positions not just for a week or two and then (sic) left out in the cold with no job and no security.
"Our training group is scared that we are becoming the meat in the sandwich of this whole affair," the recruit writes.
The new recruits are training in the dead of night from 11pm until 8am and have to give passwords to be picked up from hotels by drivers.
They were also forbidden to talk to other flight attendants or other Qantas staff.
Qantas initially denied union claims the workers were strike breakers until media exposure forced them to admit, last week, the staff would be used in the event of industrial action by Flight Attendants.
Qantas plans to shift 1000 staff to London when the current EBA expires in December in a bid to save $18 million in accommodation and allowance costs.
The FAAA says the move mean flight crews will work longer hours for less money. Flight attendants have signalled their preparedness to strike over the issue during the busy Christmas period.
The dispute is looming as a key Bellweather for the Federal Government's new aggressive Industrial Relations strategy.
Management of the former publicly owned company have already clashed with the Australian Services Union this month after awarding directors a 66 percent pay rise.
ASU members have threatened industrial action over the million dollar pay rise, which comes only two years after a 40 percent increase.
Bomb in Santa's Sack
The media furore over Qantas' new recruits broke only days after Workers Online revealed plans by the airline to sack one of it's longest serving employees on the eve of Christmas.
Margaret Takis, who has served Qantas for 30 years and speaks five languages, injured herself pushing a wheelchair at the airport earlier this year, and was forced to take time off.
Takis' doctor says she is ready to return to work but Qantas labels her a "risk" and says, if she can't find an alternative position, she will be dumped.
Over 50 of Margaret Takis' workmates at Sydney's International Terminal have already signed a petition expressing outrage at the treatment of the 57-year-old, who is only a few years off retirement.
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