Qantas fires back at TWU over 'alternative facts' - The Australian Financial Review

“Having their representatives saying things they know to be false is not only unfair to our people but is also an unhelpful distraction from dealing with the challenges that they, and their company, face,” Mr Finch said.

He said Qantas had fully complied with the spirit of JobKeeper, and that there was no way to pay back the $267 million it received from the scheme in the 2020 financial year.

“Most of that money went directly to employees,” Mr Finch said.

“[It does not] make sense to pay back this money when it has been used, as it was intended, as both a safety net for our stood-down employees and a wage subsidy for those still working.”

Pay reduction

Mr Finch attacked suggestions that third-party ground handlers like Swissport and Dnata are unsafe, too. He also criticised assertions that Mr Joyce received a pay packet of $24 million last year.

“Alan Joyce decided to forgo his salary for four months this year … which contributed to an overall reduction in his pay by more than 80 per cent compared to the previous year.”

In response, Mr Kaine said: “Revealing the inconvenient truth about Qantas management’s behavior is our job.

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“The TWU will continue to fight hard for justice for Qantas workers. We will respond in due course to Qantas management’s letter.”

Qantas announced last month it was looking to outsource domestic ground handling, which involves plane cleaners and baggage handlers among other roles.

It believes it can save $100 million a year in staffing costs, and another $80 million that Qantas would need to upgrade equipment over the next five years.

While budget subsidiary Jetstar has already made a decision, Qantas is still tendering for an offer and employees have six weeks to submit an in-house bid.

Qantas skidded to a
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