Airport outrage over emails showing casual workforce plans

A UNION has revealed it will lodge "several complaints" with the Fair Work Commission this month related to employment conditions at Gladstone Airport amid fears job security is under threat.

There are already three cases related to the airport before the commissioner and new mayor Matt Burnett has previously alluded to issues with the airport's management.


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The Observer is yet to hear from Gladstone Airport CEO Phillip Cash and will update our story when we do.

But Australian Workers Union delegate Tony Beers, who has met with more that than 12 airport employees in the past 18 months, said the working environment at the airport had become "toxic".

LISTEN | Helen Spelitis explains the dispute

He says job security has been thrown into question for some employees following an email late last year stating there would be an increased reliance on a casual workforce.

While some sensitive details have been removed, the email from CEO Phillip Cash to employees states, in part;

Gladstone Airport Corporation CEO Phil Cash
Gladstone Airport Corporation CEO Phil Cash Mike Richards GLA201114ACOF

"A new roster with increased reliance on casual … (staff) will be implemented shortly with a number of full time (staff reducing) through natural attrition. Further consultation will preface the introduction of a new roster."

The email, supplied by the union and viewed by The Observer, also states there will be increased scrutiny of workers' performance.

"For workers it means they are walking around the workplace on egg shells," Mr Beers said.

"Employees should be able to go to work without fear of intimidation and the threat they will be replaced by a whole heap of casuals."

Mr Beers wouldn't detail the ongoing issues before the Fair Work Commission, or the new matters the union - along with affected employees - will be lodging.

However he has described the employment issues as "serious" and confirmed his involvement in several disputes between employees and management.

The discussion around employment issues comes amid a "cultural survey" organised by the Gladstone Airport Board.

Independent consultants have been conducting private interviews with employees during the past two weeks.

However Board chairman David Hamill told The Observer last week the survey was unrelated to any ongoing employment issues.

Follow this reporter on Twitter @helenspelitis

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