Australian airline asks executives to work as baggage handlers amid labor crisis

Australia’s flag carrier Qantas has asked a senior manager to work as a baggage handler as the company struggles to hire employees.

“High levels of winter flu and Covid surges across communities, combined with continued tight labor markets, are making it difficult to procure resources across our industry.” Said Colin Hughes, chief operating officer of Qantas, said in an email, according to the BBC.

Executives and managers are expected to handle packages 4-6 hours a day, 5 days a week for 3 months. Applicants must be able to move suitcases up to 32 kg (70.54 lbs).

In addition to loading and unloading your luggage, you will need to drive your vehicle to move your luggage through the airport. The company is looking for at least 100 volunteers to do this work at the Melbourne and Sydney airports.

Qantas was one of the airlines hardest hit by the pandemic as Australia maintained one of the toughest COVID-19 travel restrictions in the world. Not until November 2021. Early in the pandemic, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy.

During the lockdown, Qantas laid off at least 1,600 baggage handlers and outsourced services to contractors. A federal court ruled the move was illegal, and the company plans to appeal the decision.

Airlines have recently been plagued by a number of consumer complaints, including lost baggage, long lines, and flight cancellations.

In a statement to lucka Qantas spokeswoman said, “Operational performance has not met the expectations of our customers or the standards we expect from them.” ”.

About 200 administrative staff and executives have volunteered to work on the ground since April, he added.

The Epoch Times has reached out to the airline.

Qantas Labor Issues

In an editorial on July 17 It was published Speaking in the Qantas Newsroom, Domestic and International CEO Andrew David highlighted some of the issues that are causing the airline to struggle right now.

“The reopening of airlines after a two-year grounding is complicated. And the aviation labor market, like many others, is extremely tight. It is further complicated by the fact that is increasing sharply again,” David wrote.

He also dismissed the argument that the decision to outsource ground handling was a major factor in the difficulty of resuming operations.

The company has recruited more than 1,000 employees, has more people on standby, and has doubled the number of people working in its call centers, David added.

Naveen Aslapury


Naveen Athrappully is a news reporter covering business and world events for The Epoch Times.