THE Unite union warned Qantas today against using “anti-union” tactics to silence health and safety concerns over cabin crew rest periods on its 17-hour direct route linking London and Western Australia.
The Australian airline introduced its new ultra-long-haul flight between Heathrow and Perth in March. It requires the 10 cabin crew members on board to work an average duty period of 19 hours.
Unite has raised concerns with Qantas that cabin crew based in Britain can only expect to receive an average of 25 hours’ rest in a hotel before starting their shift on the flight home.
The airline boasts that the 9,000-mile route between London and Perth is the third-longest passenger flight in the world.
According to Unite, Qantas cabin crew UK base manager Dannielle Morgan has dismissed concerns over fatigue by saying that members of cabin crew take time to “transition into new flying.”
Open conversations between Unite and its members on health and safety concerns have been described by the base manager as “unreasonable union activity,” the union says.
The manager has drawn parallels with a dispute involving Australian unions that saw workers locked out in 2011.
Unite regional officer Lindsey Olliver said: “Qantas cabin crew must be provided with adequate rest down route between sectors to ensure they are fully able to complete their safety-critical functions without impairment while operating on board an aircraft.
“A key element to this must include a ‘just safety culture’ that allows crew to discuss safety concerns, wellbeing and fatigue, free from threats and the fear of reprisals.
“I urge Qantas in the UK to engage with Unite and listen to its workforce, rather than resorting to bullying anti-union threats when dealing with legitimate safety concerns.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.