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Qantas Wants Executives and Managers To Work As Baggage Handlers

Australia’s most popular airline is asking its executives to go on an entry-level experience that might help with keeping travelers from filing complaints and asking for reimbursements or compensations. The company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Colin Hughes sent out an email in which he advocates for a “short-term contingency team” that will temporarily replace the much-needed baggage handlers.
Qantas Plane Landing 6 photos
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Qantas wants its executives to wear uniforms and work as baggage handlers and tug drivers. Essentially, the airline company needs more people in airports to move luggage around.

The COO says it’s entirely possible to hire new employees but explains that a “tight labor market” won’t make this an easy process.

Qantas fired over 2,000 employees that dealt with passenger needs two years ago. The airline wanted to outsource these positions to save some money but ended up with a lawsuit that’s still ongoing and not enough workforce to satisfy the current demand.

Although asking executives to do their part and join in the effort, having inexperienced employees doing specific work might result in a disaster. Turkish Airlines 981 crash in 1974 became known as the Ermenonville air disaster after a baggage handler didn’t secure the cargo door at the rear of the plane. This caused a sudden loss of pressure, and the decompression practically blew up the plane’s rear.

The letter sent by the CEO tells executives that wish to take part in the “contingency plan” that they will be properly trained and will know what to do. “People who respond to the EOI will be trained and rostered into the ramp environment at Sydney and Melbourne airports. These people will support our ground handling partners, who are managing the Qantas operation, over three months from mid-August. You will be fully trained to safely carry out the functions you are supporting,” writes the COO in a message seen by the BBC.

Now managers and executives that want to help Qantas can choose to work morning or afternoon shifts and pick either an eight-hour schedule or a four-hour one. Moreover, this doesn’t absolve those wishing to go back to entry-level work of their current responsibilities. They must discuss it with their direct superior first.

The COO didn’t say anything about compensation or bonuses for those who choose to put in the extra work.

 
 
 
 
 

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