Qantas is set to retract a further 164 jobs from Tullamarine, with the closure of one of its engineering facilities.
Revealed last week, Qantas and Lufthansa Technik’s joint-venture company, LTQ Engineering, will cease operations in September 2012, according to The Age.
The joint venture was established to maintain and overhaul jet engines for Qantas’ fleet.
Qantas Domestic chief Lyell Strambi said the closure was “regrettable but inevitable following sustained financial losses”.
Australian Workers Union state secretary Cesar Melhem said the closure was “an absolute disgrace”.
Mr Melhem has asked the federal government to intervene and save jobs.
“I’ve spoken to [Employment Minister Bill] Shorten… to conduct a meeting between ourselves, Qantas and Lufthansa to see whether or not this place can be salvaged,” he said.
According to Melhem, the engineering work will now be carried out in the Philippines, Scotland, Germany and China.
The job cuts follow Qantas’ shedding of more than 500 positions at Tullamarine in May this year.
Earlier this week, Qantas confirmed it was in talks with Dubai-based carrier Emirates regarding the possibility of an alliance, following Virgin’s successful partnership with Abu Dhabi-based Etihad.
Qantas has also announced a reduction in the number of support staff accompanying Airbus A380 aircraft overseas for maintenance work.
Qantas said competitor airlines sent only two or three workers to oversee maintenance operations, while it currently sent up to 11 support staff.
Each check was costing Qantas approximately $1 million, according to The Australian.
The airline will now endeavour to send between five and eight staff for maintenance repairs abroad.
Qantas has denied any job losses as a result of the change and the Qantas standard of maintenance would still be followed by maintenance suppliers.
Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association federal secretary Steve Purvinas was disappointed with the Australian carrier’s decision to send fewer maintenance staff and claimed the changes were aimed at preventing members from reporting problems with overseas maintenance facilities and operations.
“It’s a case of the three monkeys: see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: P.T