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.