The unions representing Virgin workers have outlined our priorities for members following a meeting with perspective bidders. USU members were represented by our national union, the Australian Services Union. On behalf of the unions ACTU President Michele O’Neil has released this statement:

After meeting with prospective bidders for Virgin Australia on May 25, the unions representing Virgin workers have outlined a set of principles to shape the future of the airline.

These principles will guide our group as we engage with both the administrators of Virgin Australia and with prospective buyers throughout the administration process.

It is our collective position that any prospective buyer of Virgin Australia should look to:

  1. Maximise the number of full time and permanent jobs across all aspects of existing Virgin Australia operations, inclusive of both current Virgin Australia employees and those employed by direct contractors.
  2. Protect and pay 100% of all employee entitlements – including transfer and security of entitlements of all employees retained in employment, and pay 100 cents in the dollar of accrued entitlements to any workers not provided with continued employment.
  3. Develop a sustainable business plan consistent with long term viability of a new Virgin Australia and sustainable Australian airline industry

Australia needs a competitive airline industry with a second carrier that offers great service to customers and quality, secure jobs to its workforce.

16,000 workers rely on Virgin Australia for employment, either directly or indirectly. Thousands more workers in the tourism industry rely on the airline for their livelihoods, and it is the lifeblood of many regional and rural communities.

Our number one priority throughout the administration process will continue to be protecting these workers and their jobs.