Air­line grinches un­der fire


QAN­TAS has come un­der fire for ask­ing staff to vol­un­teer their time over the busy De­cem­ber-Jan­uary pe­riod.

The Aus­tralian Ser­vices Union posted an email from the air­line, which said: “We’re tri­alling a new vol­un­teer pro­gram for our Cam­pus (Mas­cot) based peo­ple who want to lend a hand to the front­line.

“We re­quire vol­un­teers to as­sist the self-ser­vice check-in and auto bag drop area, bussing gates, con­course ar­rivals hall and at the trans­fer desk.”

A ta­ble of roles then de­tailed the jobs and level of se­cu­rity clear­ance needed.

A Qan­tas spokesman con­firmed the email’s au­then­tic­ity and said it was not about cut­ting costs but “spread­ing a bit of Christ­mas cheer dur­ing a re­ally busy pe­riod”.

“We al­ways scale up with ad­di­tional paid staff over the peak hol­i­day pe­riod,” he said. “And we also ask head of­fice em­ploy­ees if they’d like to lend a hand, which is a mix of their own time and com­pany time.”

He said it was typ­i­cally ex­ec­u­tives who vol­un­teered to spend more time on the front­line. “Vol­un­teer tasks in­clude hand­ing out bot­tles of water and Christ­mas choco­lates to pas­sen­gers at air­ports and help­ing peo­ple find their way around the ter­mi­nal,” the spokesman said.

ASU NSW branch sec­re­tary Natalie Lang called on Qan­tas chief Alan Joyce to with­draw the re­quest and en­sure that staff work­ing over the Christ­mas pe­riod were paid.

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