News : Qantas Sticks to Tasmanian Jobs Deal
Sept 26, 2014 -- Qantas has rejected union claims that it backflipped on a Tasmanian jobs deal.
The airline in May announced plans to close call centres in Brisbane and Melbourne and consolidate operations at bases in Hobart and Auckland.
But the Australian Services Union says Qantas has failed to deliver new jobs promised to the island state and instead New Zealand will see the benefit as the airline further streamlines its operations.
Qantas announced that Hobart will become a "premium service call centre", especially for senior frequent flyer members, while Auckland will handle all other phone inquiries.
"What it means is that the chances of getting a job for the 500 or so Tasmanians who applied to work at the Hobart call centre have diminished," union representative Kath Ryman said.
An airline spokeswoman said there was never a figure on the number of positions to be created in Hobart, with some 450 mainland employees offered the opportunity to relocate and keep their jobs.
She confirmed there are up to 60 new jobs available at the Hobart call centre, which will employ about 300 workers in total once the transition is complete.
When the state government sealed the 10-year deal with Qantas in May, it was expected to secure the current 246 positions and create "further opportunities for Tasmanians".
The government on Monday said Qantas has not backed down from the agreement.
"We have spoken with Qantas and they have assured us about their commitment to the Hobart call centre and increasing the number of jobs there," a government spokeswoman told AAP.
In private discussions with Qantas in May Ms Ryman said unions were told there would be 120 new jobs available for Tasmanians.
"That is the figure they gave us as far as FTE (full time equivalent) positions to be made in Hobart to compensate for the fact that the Brisbane and Melbourne centres were closing," she told AAP.
Union organisers will meet with Qantas representatives in Sydney on Tuesday to discuss the issues.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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