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Qantas baggage handlers fired after throwing luggage

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Baggage handlers who were filmed throwing and slamming passengers’ suitcases from a Qantas container have been stood down.

Footage has been widely circulated of three workers from Swissport laughing and seemingly joking during their rough handling of the luggage.

The luggage is hurled and in some instances thrown with force from height onto a conveyor belt.

The video was believed to have been taken at Melbourne Airport.

A spokesperson for Swissport told media the workers had been stood down pending an urgent investigation.

“Swissport trains and manages all staff to handle customer possessions with care and diligence.

“The actions of staff in the video appear to have contravened those service level standards.

“As a result, the staff in question have been stood down pending an urgent investigation.”

Qanta outsources ground handling services at Melbourne Airport to Swissport, a multinational cargo services provider.

Earlier this year Qantas was found to have breached the Fair Work Act in outsourcing its ground operations such as baggage handling to avoid enterprise bargaining rights.

Its controversial decision involved outsourcing more than 1600 workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline was granted special leave to appeal two rulings by the Federal Court, which found the outsourcing of baggage handlers, cleaners and ground staff was illegal.

Qantas was found to have breached the Fair Work Act in outsourcing its ground operations to avoid enterprise bargaining rights.

The company will present its case to the High Court next year.

Qantas said the outsourcing decision helped it save $100 million a year to remain solvent during the pandemic.

“We’ve always expressed our deep regret that our ground handlers, and thousands more across the group, had to lose their jobs as the pandemic hit us.”

The Transport Workers Union, which brought the Federal Court case against Qantas, has vowed to mount the “strongest possible case” in the High Court.

 



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