The union’s lawyer said that Qantas had “lost” in the case, and highlighted that: “large companies have used outsourcing for decades to prevent employees from being able to collectively bargain with them,” suggesting that court’s decision should be used as precedent in future worker’s rights cases.
In a tweet following the court ruling, the TWU said: “Today is a great day – for Qantas workers, for aviation workers and for all transport workers.”
While the ruling means that the workers who were laid off could potentially regain their jobs or receive compensation, no details have been confirmed – which was strongly reiterated by Qantas the same day.
Qantas have denied any wrongdoing and in an official statement said “Today’s judgment does not mean Qantas is required to reinstate workers or pay compensation or penalties,” claiming that the matters have not yet been considered by the court and they will oppose any such orders.
“Qantas will also seek to have its appeal heard as soon as possible and before any remedy hearing,” the statement read. The company justified the outsourcing by claiming it would save its owners and investors AU$100 million (about $73.5 million) a year.
As part of their official statement in response to court’s ruling, Qantas called the union “hypocritical” and said their behavior – referring to their effort to protect workers’ rights – “undermines the strong safety culture that exists throughout Australian aviation.”