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Australian transport union calls for national aviation plan following Virgin sale

AUSTRALIA’S Transport Workers Union (TWU) has welcomed the sale of Virgin Australia to US firm Bain Capital, but said the government needed to deliver a national plan for aviation to help the stricken sector.

Though the sale, approved by Virgin’s creditors today, will see a restructure that will cost 3,000 jobs, unions had feared the company would collapse and disappear altogether.

“We will hold Bain Capital to account on its promises,” TWU national secretary Michael Kaine said. “We will do this through our usual channels but also through the union advisory council that Bain has agreed to set up. 

“We will also hold the federal government to account over its failure to support Virgin and the wider aviation industry. We will remember how the government sat on the sidelines and refused to give Virgin workers ... the assurances they need.”

A survey in May showed that 70 per cent of Australia’s aviation workers had been stood down from their jobs and 40 per cent were without any income. 

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