News, Culture & Society

Qantas is now asking senior executives to work as baggage handlers

Hi everyone,

As hundreds of thousands of travellers have returned to the sky during our restart, many of our managers and executives have supported our airport teams as we ramp up our operations. Thank you to everyone who has stepped up to be involved to date – this support is hugely appreciated, and it’s made a real difference.

We continue to face operational challenges and so we’re calling on at least 100 managers and executives to opt into a short-term arrangement over the next three months.

The current challenge

The high levels of winter flu and a COVID spike across the community, coupled with the ongoing tight labour market, make resourcing a challenge across our industry.

There are a range of strategies to get our performance back to where we and our customers expect it to be. While this includes recruiting thousands of new team members into our operation and ongoing recruitment by our ground handling partners, we need to build more resilience into our operation now.

Establishing a short-term contingency team will help do this.

The role

We are seeking Expressions of Interest (EOIs) from managers and executives to join this phase of the contingency program.

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 a three-month period from mid-August.

You will be fully trained to safely carry out the functions you are supporting. During your time in the contingency program, you’ll be an embedded resource within the ground handling partners. This means you’ll receive a roster, be scheduled to operate and be supervised and managed in the live operation by our ground handling partners.

Key parts of the role include:

Loading & unloading aircraft:

· sorting and scanning bags ready to be driven to an aircraft

· scanning bags and loading onto belt loader

· moving bags from the belt loader into the aircraft hold

· offloading bags to arrivals belts

Driving a tug:

· taking bags between the bag room and aircraft

· moving bags between International and Domestic airports

Role requirements

· Maintain a strong safety culture – driving WH&S and operational awareness and compliance

· Physically capable of moving and lifting bags of up to 32kg in weight

· You’ll have a current driver’s licence, and

· Be comfortable to work in a team environment alongside experienced colleagues

· Previous experience working in the ramp environment is not required.

The commitment

We know everyone is busy, so we’ve structured this program to offer a range of different options for you to consider, including:

· Three OR five days per week, and either four or six hours a day per shift (with an option to extend at your discretion)

· Morning OR afternoon shifts

· Blocking days of the week that you are not available

· Sydney or Melbourne location (with accommodation provided where it is not your home base)

Given the investment required in training people for the role, we ideally ask for a minimum commitment of at least 12 to 18 hours over three shifts per week, over the three month period.

We’ve briefed our executive leaders on the program, so if you choose to opt in your manager will work with you and discuss how your current role and commitments are managed during this time. To be clear, there is no expectation that you will opt into this role on top of your full-time position.

What’s next?

If you’re interested in registering, we ask that you have a discussion with your manager to consider how you balance your current workload in order to make this commitment. Then, please complete the EOI form by no later than midday Monday 8th August, identifying what commitment you can make.

I’d like to thank you in advance for considering offering your time and stepping outside your normal role to help support our Airports team and, ultimately, our customers.

Once registrations close, we’ll come back to you with all the details around your participation, including training, rosters, induction, uniforms and PPE, red ASICS, etc.

It’s our singular company focus to support our teams to get our operation back to where it should be and provide our passengers the experience they expect from the airline. Thank you for your ongoing commitment to our recovery and considering this request.

Regards Colin

Colin Hughes

COO Qantas Airlines