‘They can afford to pay people’: Qantas slammed for asking staff to volunteer over Christmas – but the airline has defended the move
- In an email circulated with Qantas staff, the airline called for staff to ‘lend a hand’
- A Qantas spokesman said they will hand out water and chocolate to passengers
- Volunteers will be positioned in self service check-in and auto bag drop areas
- The airline has been slammed for asking staff to volunteer over Christmas
Qantas has been slammed for asking employees to volunteer over Christmas by handing bottles of water and chocolate to passengers.
In an email circulated with Qantas staff, the Australian airline called for employees to ‘lend a hand’ during the peak travel period at Sydney airport.
‘We’re trialling a new volunteer program for our Campus [Mascot] based people who want to lend a hand to the front line,’ the email read.
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Qantas has asked staff to take part in a volunteer program over the Christmas period (stock image)
Qantas is under fire after sending an email out calling for employees to volunteer over Christmas (pictured)
‘We require volunteers to assist the self-service check in and auto bag drop area, bussing gates, concourse arrivals hall and at the transfer desk.’
The volunteer roles will depend on the employee’s skill set, security requirements and preferences, according to the email.
The email, titled Christmas peak Sydney International volunteer initiative 2018, has since gone viral after being posted by an Australian trade union on social media.
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A Qantas spokesman said the volunteer initiative aimed to ‘spread a bit of Christmas cheer during a really busy period’.
The spokesman confirmed the airline was not cutting costs and said they ‘also ask head office employees if they’d like to lend a hand, which is a mix of their own time and company time’.
‘Volunteer tasks include handing out bottles of water and Christmas chocolates to passengers at airports and helping people find their way around the terminal,’ the spokesman told The Australian.
The Australian airline has been slammed over the initiative. ‘They can afford to pay people for this work. Not a good look, Qantas,’ one man said
The airline has been lashed on social media over the employee volunteer initiative.
‘They can afford to pay people for this work. Not a good look, Qantas,’ one man said.
‘Umm… those look like jobs, not volunteer positions. WTF Qantas?’ another said, while one woman joked: ‘Why don’t trial something innovative and employ workers to do the job?’.
The Australian Services Union New South Wales branch secretary Natalie Lang told The Australian ‘the jobs they want volunteers to do is skilled work’.
The Qantas Group posted a record profit of $1.6billion for the 2017/18 financial year.
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