Dear Prime Minister,
We write to you regarding the urgent need for a wage subsidy package in the aviation industry beyond September 2020 and to ensure that all aviation workers are included under the scheme.
As unions and employers representing tens of thousands of workers and contractors across aviation, we urge you to implement an ‘aviation keeper’ payment to ensure that the aviation industry has ongoing support until it can return to normal. This scheme would:
- Be extended to all aviation workers;
- Extend beyond September 2020; and
- Be phased out as domestic and international borders are phased open and confidence in aviation returns and flying returns to normal.
The aviation industry in in a unique position in that it is an essential service that both the Australian community and business sector will rely upon as part of the economic recovery, whilst also facing an extended return to pre-Covid 19 levels of demand and supply. We need a unique response to ensure that planes can return to the skies and companies can remain operational for when we all need them.
There is much talk of flights restarting yet we know it will take months, if not years, for anything resembling normality to return and that there are not only thousands of jobs on the line because of this, but the very viability of multiple employers as well. For the sake of aviation workers and the families who depend on them we must work together to mitigate this.
For those companies and workers who could access it the Jobkeeper Payment has been a welcome crutch, enabling workers to maintain ties with their employer and to support themselves and their families. It has allowed eligible companies to retain their trained, experienced staff so they are ready to return to their jobs when possible.
For those not allowed access to the payment, the past few months have been very difficult with families facing turmoil, debt, housing stress and loss and the constant threat of job losses.
Comments by both the Qantas and Virgin management teams over the last two weeks have further strengthened the argument for a ‘aviation keeper’ scheme for the aviation industry with both explaining an extended payment would save thousands of jobs and ensure both airlines and other aviation employers continued into the future.
What we need to ensure in the absence of a fully operational industry is a targeted extension of support and changes to ensure all workers are included, in the form of an ‘aviation keeper’. This must form part of national aviation recovery plan.
We believe that a commitment by the Federal Government to deliver ‘aviation keeper’ would give workers and businesses the certainty they need at this time. It would mean the aviation industry would remain intact, ready to respond when the economy rebounds.
AFAP - ALAEA - AMWU - AWU - ETU - FAAA - VIPA
Cabin Services Australia - Dnata - GateGourmet - Menzies - SNP Security - Swissport Australia- Virgin Australia