Rail, Aviation and Transport

Rail, Aviation and Transport

Report on meeting with Qantas management 26.6.20

Peter Moss - Friday, June 26, 2020

Dear Members,

 Officials from the Qantas Engineers’ Alliance met with Qantas management this morning to seek more information about the 6,000 job cuts announced yesterday.

 The Alliance’s priority is on ensuring our members are kept fully up to date with each and every development and that we keep Qantas honest during the crucial weeks ahead.

 How the sites will be affected

 Qantas management today provided a further breakdown of the 630 affected positions in engineering.

•          Sydney will be moving to a single aircraft maintenance business unit, consolidating SIM, SDO, and SIO.

•          In CMS, 37 positions will be made redundant. Three of these roles are currently unfilled for a net reduction of 34 which includes 21 contingent workers.

•          In line maintenance excluding Sydney, one position will be made redundant in Adelaide, four in Brisbane, eight in Melbourne, and one in Perth, however 14 permanent night shift roles will be created in Melbourne.

•          Sydney Line Maintenance, formerly SIM, SDO, and SIO will have a reduction of 72 personnel (AME, Aircraft Worker, and T/A), with a reduction of 51 personnel across Maintenance Support Services and Aircraft Engine Support Services.

•          Engineering Operations Control will have a reduction of nine personnel.

•          We are advised the remaining affected positions will be LAME roles, QantasLink and Jetstar. No breakdown has been provided for these areas.

There are still many questions that Qantas needs to answer – including why they have pushed ahead with this announcement while the Morrison Government is yet to make a decision on whether to extend the JobKeeper program beyond September.

 The Alliance is holding more meetings with Qantas next week where we will get a port by port explanation of impact and timing. We will keep you updated as it occurs.

 Your union is here to support you

 Alliance Unions must adopt the following four principles as threshold issues:

i.          Financial viability needs to be proven by QE and protection of entitlements must be accounted for (Qantas is not too big to fail);

ii.         Redundancies may reduce the Commonwealth’s exposure to an extension of JobKeeper in aviation and should be opposed if that is the case;

iii.        Voluntary redundancy before compulsory;

iv.        No permanent employee made redundant before a contractor.

 Your union will fight to protect as many jobs possible by pushing Qantas to meet the job cuts with unfilled vacancies. We will also be seeking to ensure that permanent staff will be last hit – contractors and contingent staff must be the first to lose their jobs.

 The Alliance will also be working to ensure that voluntary redundancies must come ahead of any compulsory redundancies.

 It’s very early days in this process and we be working up a framework to enter into discussions with Qantas to make sure yours interests are best represented.

If you receive contact from your relevant supervisor, management or the business about this process please make sure you urgently notify your Alliance delegate or organiser as soon as possible.

 The future

 Qantas has proved once again it’s a ruthless operator. It can be no coincidence that the job losses announcement and news it was raising $1.86 billion in equity was made just before new private equity owners take control of Virgin.

 The Alliance has always supported the airline industry as a whole, and it’s essential that we work together to ensure that Qantas, Virgin and Jetstar all survive this pandemic and that as many jobs are saved in the process.

 If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Alliance delegate or organiser.

 In Unity,

 The Qantas Engineers’ Alliance – made up of the Australian Workers’ Union, the Electrical Trades Union and the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union.


Peter Moss - Tuesday, June 16, 2020


ETU offices in Sydney, Canberra and Newcastle are open and operating safely under strict COVID-19 guidelines.

Members can visit the union’s offices but are encouraged to contact the ETU by phone or email wherever possible: (02) 9267 4844 etunsw@etunsw.com.au

Entitlement update for Qantas workers

Peter Moss - Monday, March 30, 2020

The Qantas Engineers Alliance Unions have been seeking clarity from Qantas on questions of entitlements during stand downs since they were first announced a week and a half ago.
Throughout this process, Qantas has shown a lack of respect and compassion to its workforce, and we are frustrated to report this continues to be the case.
Below is our advice as of the 28th of March for members who need to lodge their leave applications for the stand down period. This advice is subject to change as the Alliance Unions fight for improved entitlements, and we will keep you updated.
Sick Leave
Qantas has rejected the request of the Alliance Unions to amend the advice provided on the Q&A with respect to sick leave.
At this stage, workers who are on stand down will NOT be able to access their sick leave entitlements.
The Alliance Unions are taking legal advice on next steps in this matter. It is our firm belief that if a worker is sick during the stand down period, they should be able to claim their sick leave as is standard practice on annual leave or long service leave.
Public Holidays 
A number of public holidays fall in the first stand down period. Our advice to members on this is as follows:

  •  If you do day work (i.e. – Monday to Friday), you do not need to apply for annual leave to cover the public holidays that fall in the stand down period
  • If you are a shift worker and the public holidays fall in a period during which you were rostered on, you will need to apply for annual leave in order to obtain your shift loading
  • If you are a shift worker and the public holidays fall in a period during which you were NOT rostered on, you do not need to apply for annual leave in order to cover the public holidays

Long Service Leave
At this stage, Qantas is refusing to allow workers to take shorter blocks of long service leave (single days or 4/5 day blocks). The policy as outlined in the Q&A distributed by Qantas currently applies.
The Alliance Unions believe that members should be able to take shorter blocks, and changes to the Long Service Leave Act in NSW are supportive of this position. The Unions are currently seeking legal advice on next steps and will continue to pursue members’ right to take long service leave in shorter blocks.
In light of possible changes in coming weeks, the Alliance Unions recommend that where possible, members give consideration to taking other forms of leave before taking long service leave as we seek a better outcome for members in this matter.
The Alliance Unions will continue to fight Qantas for fair policies on entitlements during the stand downs.

If you have any further questions please contact Brad Currey on 0431838852 or bradc@etunsw.com.au .

In Unity,

Justin Page

Help the ETU stop dangerous unlicensed electrical work

Bruce Fan - Monday, August 05, 2019

Help the ETU stop dangerous unlicensed electrical work.

Stop the Sell Off

Bruce Fan - Monday, March 18, 2019

ETU Sydney Trains organiser Anthony O'Sullivan call for activists to Stop the Sell Off campaign.


Peter Moss - Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Signal electrician Dave Colusso has notched up many wins in 24 years as an ETU delegate. His secret is simple.

‘The EBA is my bible. I know it backwards. Always get the facts and check your rights in the agreement,’ said the Sydney Trains veteran.

In 2018 alone, Dave identified three areas where the company was underpaying EBA entitlements.

His research forced Sydney Trains to backpay hundreds of electricians the mandated rates for leave loading, callouts and stand downs.

‘As a delegate you try to make a difference. It’s very satisfying to support your co-workers and ensure they are being paid and treated appropriately.’

Dave works hard to defend the gains of the past, but he has one eye on the future.

‘When a worker says “I need the union”, I tell them the union is me, it’s you, it’s everybody.

‘Members need to take that first step to becoming active. That’s how I started and that’s how we built the ETU.’

INTERESTED IN BECOMING AN ETU DELEGATE? Contact your organiser or the ETU office

A message for Sydney Trains members from ETU organiser Anthony O'Sullivan

Bruce Fan - Tuesday, December 18, 2018

ETU Sydney Trains organiser Anthony O'Sullivan wraps up a big year and looks ahead to two major rail campaigns in 2019

New leadership team at ETU NSW

Peter Moss - Tuesday, December 11, 2018
11 December 2018

Dear member

I write to you today as Secretary of the NSW Branch of the Electrical Trades Union.

Dave McKinley has decided to step down from his role as Secretary. At last night’s ETU State Council, I was unanimously endorsed as Branch Secretary of our great union. I am honored and privileged to be chosen to lead our union into the future.

After 28 years as an ETU member and official, I know many of you and I look forward to working had with you to improve the working conditions within our industry.

I entered the trade as an electrical apprentice at Tomago Aluminium in 1987. I served as an ETU delegate during some of the big industrial battles at the birth of enterprise bargaining.

In 2010 I became an ETU Organiser working out of Newcastle. In 2015 I was elected President of Hunter Workers. In 2016 I was elected ETU Assistant Secretary.

I’ve helped lead the union’s work across major sectors including Ausgrid, Essential Energy, generation and manufacturing. In 2017 I led our successful lobbying campaign to protect NSW electrical trades standards and security for apprentices.

Since my apprenticeship I’ve been proudly union. My commitment to the ETU and our members has never wavered.

My leadership team includes Ben Lister as ETU Assistant Secretary. Ben worked 15 years as an Ausgrid lineworker at West Gosford and was a delegate for most of that time. He was one of our key activists in the Your Rights at Work and Stop the Sell Off campaigns.

Since coming on board as an Organiser in 2014, Ben has worked with members in diverse industries including rail, manufacturing, distribution, solar, and construction and contracting. Ben is a skilled negotiator who was appointed a senior organiser in 2017.

Today we must build on the best traditions of the ETU while innovating for the challenges of the modern era. In recent years the ETU has embraced change in response to events such as the privatisation of the electricity sector. But we need to do more.

Under my leadership the ETU will deepen the Branch’s focus on growth. We must grow to build industrial and political power to achieve the best outcomes for all ETU members.

Our organising drive in construction and supply contracting has delivered strong early results. The ongoing success of these campaigns is essential to the future of the ETU, the integrity of our trade and the welfare of electrical workers everywhere.

I want to acknowledge and thank Dave McKinley for his many years of service to ETU members.

I look forward to working with you as we embrace the challenges ahead with optimism, courage, determination and unity.

In unity
Justin Page
Secretary ETU NSW

PS Please feel free to contact me on justinp@etunsw.asn.au

Prohibition on working on or near asbestos-contaminated equipment

Peter Moss - Monday, October 29, 2018

Prohibition on Working On/Near Asbestos Contaminated Equipment

Members of the ETU have raised major concerns regarding the failure of Sydney Trains to remove asbestos from signalling equipment. Over a number of years these concerns have been raised with the company but no action has taken place. As Sydney Trains, and its predecessors, have refused to remove the asbestos they are placing members at risk.

Both the CSEE Track Circuit “SI Units” (with a Manufacture date of 1987 or older) and “J- Type” Impedance Bonds (Asbestos Fibre Hemp Seals with no identifying features) have been proved to contain friable asbestos.

Members are advised not to carry out any work or task on this equipment that involves disturbing, removing the cover of or exposing themselves to the components inside which may contain asbestos.

Do not certify as complete any task, TMP, SOI or the like that requires you to access or disturb these units unless a waiver has been granted by Signal Engineering that exempts you from exposing yourself or removing the cover on this equipment.

If any of these components are damaged by any means whereby the integrity of the equipment housing is compromised then treat the entire area as asbestos contaminated and advise both your manager and the Incident Hotline. Do not enter the area under any circumstances until it has been decontaminated by a specialist hygienist and deemed safe.

This working arrangement should continue until such time that Sydney Trains has safely removed the asbestos material contained in this equipment.

Should you have any questions please contact Anthony O’Sullivan on 0429 429 234.

Dave McKinley
Secretary, ETU NSW

Urgent Qantas meeting 12.45 pm Monday 17 September

Peter Moss - Wednesday, September 12, 2018