Your New Baggage Handlers: Senior Execs at Qantas Are Being Forced to Do Actual Work

While Qantas has a superb safety record in the sky, on the ground, they have recently been crashing into some airstrips made out of controversy. For instance, The Canberra Times has reported that Qantas has asked some of its senior executives to become baggage handlers. Here are the important deets about this cringe situation:

The Infamous Qantas Memo

In an internal Qantas memo, the company’s chief operating officer, Colin Hughes, told some of his workers that they could apply to become temporary baggage handlers. “People who respond to the EOI will be trained and rostered into the ramp environment at Sydney and Melbourne airports,” said Hughes. He also wrote, “These people will support our ground handling partners, who are managing the Qantas operation, over a three-month period from mid-August.” 

Currently, Qantas wants a minimum of 100 managers to sign up. Hughes may have tried to sweeten this deal by noting, “There is no expectation that you will opt into this role on top of your full-time position.”

This comes at a time when getting your baggage from a Qantas might be trickier than renting a cheap apartment in Sydney. On July 11, one baggage handler told The Guardian that around one in 10 pieces of luggage was getting lost or not getting loaded at Sydney airport. They said, “There’s just still not enough of us there to get to all the bags.”

Related: Sydney Airport Is a Dumpster Fire That Might Strike

Related: How to Prevent Lost Luggage Because So Many Suitcases Are Missing

How Qantas Has Stuffed Everything Up 

In 2020, Qantas unlawfully fired around 2,000 ground crew workers. The Federal Court even ruled so, as reported by the Sydney Morning Herald. As of this date, this group of workers hasn’t been rehired. 

Ian Smith, a member of the Transport Workers’ Union, told the ABC that if Qantas rehired these folks, there would be fewer issues. These workers could speed up the baggage handling process. Doing this would result in there being less delays and fewer bags going missing. Smith also stated, “There’s a lot of them that would love to come back and work for Qantas.”

Qantas hasn’t explained why it would rather train up 100 managers to be baggage handlers than just rehire these eager professionals. Maybe it’s out of pride or some stubborn budgetary reasons. Either way, this news has certainly framed Qantas as desperate and a company that’s willing to play the part of a Shakespearean jester.

How Much is a Baggage Handler Salary?

As of July 29, Indeed claimed that the average base salary of a baggage handler in Australia is $29.77 per hour. 

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