E tū is not convinced that Air New Zealand need to lay off as many people as quickly as they have proposed.
Last night, Air New Zealand told staff, including over 5,000 E tū members, that up to 3,500 people would lose their jobs in the next couple of months.
E tū Assistant National Secretary Rachel Mackintosh says that the company is moving faster than it needs to.
“It’s time to take a breather and keep people employed until we actually know what’s going to happen in the aviation industry domestically and globally,” Rachel says.
“Regardless of the problems, Air New Zealand needs to remain a company where there are decent jobs and where workers are respected and valued. Every Air New Zealand employee understands the massive challenge facing the airline, but the airline cannot recover if workers do not have a say.
“Forging ahead with extreme cuts will hurt too many people. It will undermine Air New Zealand and damage the economic recovery. It will damage the company’s culture and slash at the company’s brand promise. If they rush into this, Air New Zealand will forever be known as the company that kicked their workers while they were down.”
Rachel says that the company has alternatives to consider.
“We understand the scale of the problem, but the company have options. They have $1 billion in the bank. They have access to $70 million worth of wage subsidy and a $900 million dollar taxpayer loan to fall back on. To formally initiate redundancy talks while so many workers are on lockdown at home would be a mistake. It’s just wrong.
“The mid- and long-term future of flying in the Asia-Pacific region is open to speculation. No one can really say what will happen. Domestic and regional flying will start to recover in the next few months as New Zealand emerges from Alert Level 4 and can travel again.
“The Prime Minister has said we need to ‘go hard and go early’ to stop the spread of COVID-19, but Air New Zealand are wrong to take the same approach to firing thousands of their workers.”
For more info and comment:
Rachel Mackintosh, 027 543 7943