Engineering jobs to go as Qantas consolidates (smh - Engineering College Chennai)

May 22 08:32 2012 Ramyasadasivam Print This Article

QANTAS has indicated it will eventually close its aircraft maintenance base at Avalon Airport near Geelong, after its decision to slash 535 engineering positions and close a base at Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport by August.

Engineering College Chennai

Qantas ended weeks of speculation about the extent of the cuts yesterday when it confirmed it would consolidate its heavy maintenance work into bases in Brisbane and at Avalon following the closure of the Tullamarine base with the loss of 422 jobs by August.

Engineering Industry

A further 113 positions will also be axed from Avalon's 652-strong workforce due to a reduction in work. However,Guest Posting Qantas will create 35 other maintenance jobs in Melbourne and Sydney.

Unions described the cuts as a ''devastating blow'' for the workers and their families, and evidence of the decline of a highly skilled niche industry. The latest redundancies - amounting to 10 per cent of its engineering workforce - are in addition to 500 job cuts Qantas announced in February, including 225 from engineering and 65 from catering.

It takes the number of jobs Qantas has announced to be axed over the past four years to more than 5000.

The Qantas chief executive, Alan Joyce, said the latest cuts would not be the end of the consolidation of its engineering operations as it faced a 60 per cent fall in demand for heavy maintenance work over the next seven years due to the delivery of new aircraft, which require less work than older planes.

Mr Joyce said he expected further changes to its Avalon base and refused to say how long the site would be viable.''We absolutely believe that at the end of the day - we are not sure when exactly when that timeframe will be - that Qantas will have one consolidated heavy maintenance base facility in Australia,'' he said. ''But now is not the time for us to call on that.''

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