We know you’re worried

It is now clear that the COVID-19 outbreak will have a significant impact on the business, as well as the health and well-being of our community.

These are unprecedented times and things are changing so quickly. Unfortunately this is not business as usual. But we want to make sure that you know we will be by your side every step of the way.

Virgin Australia announced the following changes to schedules, to be phased in from 30 March 2020:

  1. The 50% reduction in domestic capacity from 30 March 2020 until at least 14 June 2020.
  2. The cessation of international operations from 30 March 2020 until at least 14 June 2020.

This means that there is no useful work for some employees and reduced work for everyone else covered by the agreement.

The ASU and TWU

The ASU and TWU have been constantly impressing upon Virgin Australia to come to the table with a plan to mitigate the impacts on you of the situation the airline faces. We have expressed our views about what the plan should be and the Company has brought us a draft plan today.

Stand Downs

The company has entered into a discussion with us about voluntary stand downs for Roster Period 4 and 5 (‘RP4’ & ‘RP5’). This is very serious – stand down is normally without pay – the ACTU’s advice to us is that unpaid stand downs are permitted once all other options have been exhausted. We are working through the details of how such a plan could be implemented as fairly and equitably as possible.

Importantly, stand downs ensure that continuity of service is maintained and employment is maintained.

We are trying to maximise the ability for people to continue working, including encouraging workers to volunteer to assist with the increased volume of calls in the GCC, as well as other options.

What else are we doing?

We have a timetable to meet with the business on Monday and Wednesday next week, as well as ongoing meetings for some time.

Virgin Australia need to do everything they can to mitigate job losses. On the topic of redundancy, we have said that now is not the time to rush into any decisions without proper consideration of what else can be done. The ASU is urgently discussing every available option to keep jobs safe through this crisis.

Speak with your USU/ASU Organiser of local workplace delegates about your concerns

If you have specific concerns you want the USU/ASU to raise at consultation, please talk more with your Union delegate or your Union organiser.

If you have any questions about this email or require any assistance at work, please contact your USU Organiser Thomas Russell on 0419 761 320 or via email at trussell@usu.org.au