Qantas Denies Union Claims of Gender Discrimination

Submitted by Jim Thesiger on 4 March, 2010 - 08:36

Renowned domestic and global air transportation service provider Qantas Airways (QAN) has denied the claims presented by the union that a number of female employees were sacked by the company due to gender biasness. According to the Union, as many as fourteen female workers lost their jobs in the last month that were replaced by male workers who were able to double as the baggage handlers. An application was submitted by the Transport Workers' Union today in Fair Work Australia for restoration where the Union stated that women were discriminated against as they were barred from applying for the 47 newly opened permanent jobs which were given to male workers.

However, Qantas denied the claims saying that the Union has brought this issue as a part of its campaign against the company in an attempt to damage its brand. In its statement, the air transportations service provider included that among the Qantas employees; more than 40 percent are women. The group of female employees were appointed for the jobs based on temporary fixed-term contracts during late 2008 and beginning of the year 2009 and their contracts were to be expired during the end of the year 2009 and early 2010. The loss of a third party aircraft cleaning and ground handling agreement led to a reduction in the demand of labour and therefore it was not possible for the company to keep the staff.

In defense of Qantas, the spokesman of the company also added that not only some female employees but male employees also lost their jobs- something that the Union did not include in its materials. The Qantas spokesman stated that although there were times when staff employed on fixed-term contracts was transitioned into permanent employment, but under the present circumstances it did not happen in this case.