News : Qantas Union Anxious About Fallout for Tasmanian Jobs
Feb 27, 2014 -- Hundreds of Tasmanian workers in a Qantas call centre are anxiously awaiting information about whether their jobs are safe.
Qantas has confirmed it is cutting 5,000 jobs after reporting a half year loss.
In January, Qantas axed 35 positions at Hobart Airport, making its only remaining ground staff redundant. All other Qantas airport workers across the state are sub-contractors.
The Australian Service Union says the only remaining Qantas employees are 300 staff at the Glenorchy call centre.
Spokesman Igor Gratton says he has been taking phone calls from workers who are anxious and in tears. "I would like to think that after the hits Tasmania has recently taken, and the savings that the contact centre has recently made, and the work that they're doing that it might be minimal," he said.
"But who knows where Qantas is going to go, or what they're going to do, because they don't feel they're answerable to anyone but them-bloody-selves.
"We've been inundated with calls...all people are doing is worrying about their futures, we've had people in tears we've got people very concerned and it's just, this secretive way they're doing things is unacceptable."
Mr Gratton says it is another blow to staff recently made redundant because many were hoping to gain work at the call centre.
Michael Bailey from the state's Chamber of Commerce and Industry says it is vital the call centre jobs are quarantined.
"For Tasmania it's even more significant, we really are at a stage in our economy where we can't afford any major job losses in the state," he said.
The state's Tourism Minister Scott Bacon says there is no indication at this stage that Tasmania will be affected but he wants to meet management in the coming days.
Mr Bacon says the Government is seeking answers. "This is a shocking result for Qantas," he said.
"The government's concern obviously is for the Tasmanian jobs that could possibly be affected.
"I spoken with Steve Farquhar from Qantas this morning, we'll be meeting with him in coming days, the initial word from Qantas is Tasmanian jobs won't be affected."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Monday, March 3, 2014