Given that the Company has notified staff about significant reductions in flight capacity of the airline – including a suspension of all international flying from 30 March and a 50% drop in domestic capacity until 14 June 2020 – there will be a lot to work through for you.

The USU/ASU acknowledges that the updated message from Paul Scurrah this morning has caused significant alarm amongst staff who are now gravely concerned for their jobs and welfare.

The key points from our meeting this morning:

  • Sometime today a roster will be published for Guest Services and Ramp team members for the 2 week period covering 23rd March – 5th April – i.e. the 1st 2 weeks of Roster Period 4 (‘RP4’).
  • The Company provided us with their views on what needs to be discussed to address the drop in flights. They did express the view that they can implement options by 30 March when they are due to publish rosters for the remainder of RP4 – from 6 April.
  • They have said that the impact of reducing flights will impact 286 part-time Guest Services staff.
  • We are seeking that the business confirm the exact number of full-time equivalent employees that will be needed to run the domestic schedule up to June 2020.

It’s important to know that neither the USU/ASU nor the TWU have agreed to any proposals put to us by Paul Woosnam and Job Vandenheuvel this morning, for all Ground Crew staff.

It is fair to say that the announcements this morning has been late in coming from the Company. We have been saying for some time that the Company appears to be taking too long to talk with us about their plans for the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on jobs. Dithering then rushing to terrorise staff by flaunting options such as redundancies before consultation has occurred with your Union, is never respectful of your needs. The Company has legal obligations including ensuring your health and safety at work.

Next steps

We do not have any detail or agreed process in place about any of the options under discussion that we are working through to help you make decisions in as straightforward and clear way as possible.
We are working with the Company to find the best solutions for everyone covered by the enterprise agreement and to protect jobs.

The USU/ASU and TWU have locked-in meetings with management. We will provide our proposal to the business based on feedback from our delegates, as soon as possible.

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

It’s a difficult time at Virgin Australia, but you have the USU/ASU by your side every step of the way. 

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