“Aerocare denounces the campaign of confirmed misinformation being waged by the Transport Workers Union.
“Without consultation or employee approval, the TWU is now opposing a valid enterprise agreement (CA12) that was approved by 97% of Aerocare employees in 2012, and which was fully ratified by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) as being above Award. This represents a new low in industrial relations tactics.
“If Aerocare’s 2,000 Australian employees no longer enjoy the protection of the fully ratified CA12 enterprise agreement, and revert to the Award as the TWU wishes, it will cost each permanent employee on average $9,000 a year in lost income and up to $47,000 in some cases.
“This shines a light in the clearest possible way on TWU’s misinformation regarding low wages at Aerocare.
“Using the methodology employed in the TWU’s own report published on Monday, and reverting to the award as the TWU wishes, their actions would also cost each permanent Aerocare employee on average $43,000 in lost superannuation at retirement, and up to $320,000 in some cases.
“Given a complete lack of consultation with the Company and staff on this unconscionable and unprecedented cancellation attempt, the TWU’s true interest is apparently in destabilising the employment prospects of 2,000 hard-working Australians, and noting that more than 95% choose not to belong to the union.
“Contrary to the union’s assertions, Aerocare’s safety record is outstanding, with injury incidence one tenth the industry average for the period just prior to the commencement of their smear campaign.
“Various other claims have also been rejected as misrepresentations by Australian airport authorities and aviation and safety regulators.
“The TWU has previously been exposed for fabricating misleading evidence, soliciting employees to breach their contractual obligations to Aerocare, and soliciting customers to tear up contracts with Aerocare.
“Importantly, the TWU was forced to acknowledge under oath at the FWC that its own EBA modelling, which continues to be used to criticize Aerocare, was wildly inaccurate.
“Split shifts are legal and a regular feature in the aviation sector, as with other sectors such as bussing, trucking and hospitality, and as confirmed by the Fair Work Commission in their CA12 decision. The TWU itself has approved split shifts in other enterprise agreements with companies in the sector that have heavy union representation, so their hypocrisy in opposing them at a low-union workplace like Aerocare is astounding, not least because at Aerocare they are provided solely at the employee’s option.
“Denying employees the opportunity to enjoy the above-Award benefits of their existing agreement would reduce their wages by an average 19% a year, and up to 60% in some cases.
“If the TWU has its way, and workers revert to the Award, Aerocare would save about $5 million a year in lower wages. But Aerocare is committed to continuing to pay higher wages than the Award, which is obviously crucial for workers and their families.
“Aerocare retains the full support of its customers and Australian airports and will continue to fight for the rights and future employment prospects of its staff. To that end, Aerocare yesterday appealed the FWC to deny the ratification of the new CA17 agreement.
“More than 83% of permanent workers voted in favour of the recent CA17 enterprise agreement and an astounding 97% of the previous CA12 agreement, some of the highest approval rates in the sector.
“In addition to its industry-leading safety and security record that has seen the company regularly win industry awards and never be penalized in its 25 year history, Aerocare is a leader in other ESG areas such as:
- De-casualisation: <10% of employees are casual following an ongoing industry-leading drive to offer any casual employee the right to enjoy the security of permanent employment through conversion any time at their option;
- Equal opportunity: 38% of Aerocare’s workforce are female – one of the highest rates in the sector;
- ISAGO: Aerocare is uniquely certified as an Australian-owned handler by the peak global aviation body for the quality of its systems, processes and operational and safety outcomes;
- Environment: Aerocare has invested in the development of the most efficient electric bus fleet in the World and one of the largest fleets of electric ground handling equipment in Australia.
Aerocare is one of the largest of 28 aviation services operators in Australia, and it has an outstanding safety record, with a fraction of the rate of days lost to injury compared to the rest of the aviation industry. Aerocare is co-owned and managed by a group of former baggage handlers and check-in agents – and is proud to be an equal-opportunity employer of over 3,000 hard-working staff across Australia and New Zealand.
Other players include Virgin, Qantas, QGS, EGH, Menzies, Dnata, OAS, Arrow, Aus Flight Handling, Skystar, Universal Aviation, Regional Express, Hawker Pacific, AAE, Platinum Business Aviation Centre, Gate Gourmet, Alpha Flight Services, Cabin Services Australia, Gate Aviation, AVIA Flight Services, Executive Gourmet, Q Catering, Execujet, Universal Air Cargo, Australian Air Support, Wymap and Star Aviation.
Table: Safe Work Australia statistics for 2016/17 below.
Media enquiries: Adam Connolly 0417 170 084