We have all been shocked by the Jetstar decision to outsource the work of Jetstar services staff working on the ramp in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Avalon. Around 350 staff will lose their jobs as a result of this decision which came without warning.

Unfortunately it seems Jetstar put a Request for Interest (RFI) to a range of ground handlers in June 2020 without telling staff and then they put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) and have now announced the preferred bidders for each airport’s work which they say they want to finalise by December 2020. No one told staff about this, staff have been presented with this as a done deal. We know the union for the Jetstar Services staff are currently at the Fair Work Commission challenging the process and your USU/ASU delegates and officials are watching what happens very closely. In previous processes in the Qantas group, staff have been alerted to what was going on at the RFI stage why that did not happen here is a mystery.

Your delegates have been concerned about this development as we know many staff are.  We know that Jetstar management is saying that it doesn’t make economic sense to them to outsource customer service and that they want to keep it in house and they have no plans to outsource your work.

We have taken the opportunity since the announcement to meet with Jetstar management in particular Daniel Banens head of airports on 2nd and 16th September 2020 to get more information about the outsourcing of ramp work. Rumours abound that Swissport are saying they are getting our work and this was not helped when they advertised jobs for customer service on 1st September. According to Jetstar these ads were unrelated to Jetstar customer service work.

We also have asked management to get Jetstar’s comments that they do not intend to outsource our work in writing. Your delegates have impressed upon management the need for certainty about customer service jobs staying as directly employed by Jetstar and if, as they say it is, their intention  to keep our work in house then for peace of mind a written commitment makes sense. We have written commitments about not using Jetstar services for our work so what we are asking for is not an outrageous request. The company is considering this request – here is hoping they realise how important it is to us so we can get some certainty in these uncertain times.

Qantas Property Group Review

You may have read that Qantas is conducting a review of their property holdings across all airlines. Jetstar head office in Melbourne is under review and we are seeking more information and input about that. In case you missed the small print on this announcement, a Q & A that Qantas put out about this review mentions a number of times that Qantas/ Jetstar “are looking at opportunities where it makes sense to bring together Qantas / Jetstar offices/ facilities” — and an example they give of this is “Co-locating Qantas and Jetstar offices/ functions at ports in Australia and overseas such as crew briefing and other administration areas”. 

Those statements are pretty wide, what does functions mean we asked Jetstar’s head of airports on 16th September?  Unfortunately we did not get an answer but we hope to have this clarified at our meeting next week. We deserve to know what is being considered particularly if “functions” results in consolidating work which may well mean losing jobs.

We are also trying to get a meeting with the Qantas group managers responsible for this project so we can understand what this may really mean. When we have answers we will report back.