Source: Etu Union
E tū calls on the country’s national carrier to halt outsourcing in the wake of fresh cabin crew redundancy proposals.
On Wednesday, Air New Zealand announced its proposal to make around 385 cabin crew redundant by December, as part of its plans to cut staff numbers further.
However, the company is continuing to outsource work, retaining an agreement with a cabin crew hire company in Shanghai.
An E tū member who wishes to remain anonymous says the redundancy proposal is “devastating” for crew, with the state of the industry wreaking havoc on their ability to earn a living.
“Every time as cabin crew, we think we are going to get a reprieve and get back to doing what we love – we keep getting hit down.
“We’ve already lost 900 mid-to-long haul crew. We want to see Air New Zealand flourish and we want to save New Zealand jobs. Our goal is to see the airline bounce back as quickly as it can, so we can start getting our colleagues back,” they say.
“We constantly ask why the [Shanghai] base is still going, and it is something we will be trying to deal with through this process.”
Another E tū member, also anonymous, says the situation seems like “a rollercoaster ride that doesn’t seem to stop” and will inevitably create issues related to personal and financial wellbeing, particularly for crew that have spent most of their careers at Air New Zealand.
“Crew want to be able to move forward. Some feel this isn’t about the company getting into ‘revive mode’, but rather like a race to the bottom – trying to get crew on minimal salaries using the excuse of COVID-19.”
E tū head of aviation, Savage, says while crew can see the damage COVID-19 has done to the aviation sector, there is no operational reason for Air New Zealand to retain a crew base in Shanghai.
“The Shanghai base has always been about paying crew less and devaluing the role of cabin crew. Outsourcing is a barrier to raising standards in aviation and it needs to end.
“When the work comes back, it needs to come back to Auckland-based cabin crew,” he says.
“For the company to focus on immediate labour costs, without taking into account the bigger picture, is short-sighted and damaging to all aviation workers.”
Savage says the airline and the jobs it provides are a vital piece of New Zealand’s infrastructure.
“The Government’s new approach to procurement – to help create jobs for those most affected by COVID-19 – is something Air New Zealand needs to follow. Creating skilled jobs and training the future generations of airline workers and cabin crew is essential to our economy.”
For more information and comment:
Savage, 027 590 0074