USU/ASU members will have awoken to news this morning that Virgin Australia has taken the decision to halt trading and there is ongoing speculation about a federal government bail out of the airline. We know that the airline has been struggling for some time, so this is serious.
The impact of the bushfire emergencies over summer, and now the grounding of most flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic have added significantly to the financial pressures Virgin Australia was already facing.
The government must act now to ensure Virgin Australia continues to fly
For more than 3 weeks we have heard of talks between the Federal Government and Virgin Australia about a possible bail out. The USU/ASU, along with other unions and the ACTU have also opened discussions with Paul Scurrah, CEO of Virgin Australia.
We believe the federal government has not made a final decision on whether it will intervene to save Virgin Australia.
The Cabinet and the national cabinet are constantly meeting to consider a range of measures to assist ailing airlines impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government must urgently commit to financial assistance for Virgin Australia.
Last week Virgin Australia took steps to ground all their domestic services until June 15, except for the Sydney-Melbourne return service running 6 days a week. We have a meeting with the airline on Wednesday to discuss delaying this step if the government acts now.
What you can do
It’s important that our politicians understand that you care about Virgin Australia and want them to do everything they can to keep Virgin Australia trading. To do this we need you to:
1. Call or write to the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Treasurer and your local MP. Ask them to save Virgin Australia jobs and ensure that the airline continues to fly.
Follow the links for contact information:
Prime Minister Scott Morrison
(02) 9523 0339
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack
(02) 6921 4600 or
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg
(03) 9882 3677
Contact your Senator or Member of Parliament
Find your local MP here >
2. Share this update with family and friends on social media and ask them to act! You can email this update to your friends, family and colleagues to share.
3. Encourage other colleagues at Virgin Australia to join the USU/ASU. Join online at www.usu.org.au/join
Update on JobKeeper payments and redundancies
As a result of pressure from you and your friends, Virgin Australia committed to the following:
- Commencing Job Keeper payments effective from the 30 March start date.
- Re-crediting any annual leave or long service leave that team members have taken since 30 March 2020 as a result of being stood down.
More information about JobKeeper payments here: https://usu.org.au/federal-government-jobkeeper-payment-update/
This has been a huge win. However, JobKeeper payments will be at risk if Virgin Australia can’t continue to fly.
If you still have queries about JobKeeper payments or redundancies, please contact your Organiser today to discuss your concerns.
Also we know this is a very stressful time, do not hesitate to seek assistance if you need it. Organisations like Lifeline 131114 or Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 are available if needed.
Remember your USU/ASU is with you every step of the way during this very difficult time.
If you have any questions about this email or require any assistance at work, please contact your organiser Thomas Russell on 0419 761 320 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org