Gladstone Airport privatises security screening
Gladstone Region deputy mayor Chris Trevor has responded to Gladstone Airport's decision to privatise its security services by calling into question the airport's ongoing status as an independent corporation owned by the council.
Read the full story here.
GLADSTONE Airport Corporation has announced its passenger and baggage screening services will be provided by private company MSS Security from October.
Security services are currently provided by about a dozen in-house security employees.
Announcing the change, Gladstone Airport Corporation chief executive Peter Friel moved to reassure staff their jobs were secure by telling them MSS intended to offer ongoing employment to current staff "with most positions being of a full time nature".
"MSS as a large national security provider affords far greater security career opportunities than Gladstone Airport Corporation can offer," Mr Friel said.
"Those staff members who wish to progress their careers with MSS will now have a wide network of opportunities available to them."
A statement from Gladstone Airport Corporation said the decision was undertaken after broad consultation with industry groups, union representatives and other stakeholders, and had not been taken lightly.
"Significant reduction in flights and passenger numbers, ongoing training needs and compliance requirements (and) ability to quickly react to a changing aviation environment... have also been factors that have been thoroughly considered," the statement read.
The move comes amid ongoing tensions at the airport between security staff and management over job security and roster concerns - and the manner in which the decision was announced is unlikely to ease those tensions.
Workers were informed of the change late this afternoon, a move that has angered Australian Workers' Union organiser Tony Beers.
Mr Beers' son Zac is also an AWU organiser, and is responsible for representing the current security staff in ongoing negotiations with airport officials.
He flew out of Gladstone Airport on his honeymoon just after midday today.
"These people knew. He got married on Saturday and he flew out this afternoon," Tony said.
"They knew he was flying through their terminal... now he won't be back for two weeks and they drop this bomb.
"It's shameful at best."
Mr Beers said the consultation process described in Gladstone Airport Corporation's statement had been "cosmetic".
"The whole way through this process, this corporation has said no definite decision has been made," he said.
"They made the decision... then decided after the event to contact the union when members directed them to speak to our representative for the purposes of consultation - which is the process after a definite decision's been made."
Gladstone Regional Council has been contacted for comment.