The International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) is backing today's Australia-wide Qantas Families Day.
More than 600 Australians are taking to the streets today to show their support for Qantas/Jetstar workers in the ongoing dispute with management.
'Qantas Families Day' is an initiative of a number of Trade Unions representing workers employed by the airline.
ITF President and Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said: "Today is about putting people first - workers and their families. Not profits, or cost cuts, or offshored profit centres. Instead the Qantas workers and the Australian unions, backed by our friends around the world, are laying out an alternative model, of the kind that keeps Qantas as an example of all that's good about safe flying."
Speaking from London, ITF general secretary David Cockroft said: "There're 275 trade unions with members in the aviation business in the ITF, and they're all backing the Qantas workers. They know - and are pretty certain the Australian people know - that they are defending not just Qantas' reputation, but also jobs and the whole idea of decent national airlines."
Transport Workers' Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon said: "The Qantas Families Day brings together Qantas workers and their Australian neighbours and friends to defend jobs and reject the ruthless cost cutting and offshoring that could leave them without work and the rest of us without a national airline."
The ITF is a global union federation with 751 member trade unions, representing 4,669,720 members in 154 countries. Two hundred and seventy five of those unions represent workers in the aviation sector, including cabin crew, pilots, ground staff, baggage handlers and air traffic controllers.
On 16th November the ITF organised an international day of action in support of Qantas workers (see http://www.itfglobal.org/press-area/index.cfm/pressdetail/6690/region/1/section/0/order/1)
Some 610 volunteers and six national trade unions, including ITF affiliates the MUA and RTBU, will be distributing 208,000 Qantas Families leaflets at 11.00 local time on Saturday December the 3rd.
In conjunction with this, Qantas Families will be spending the weekend lobbying the national government to protect skills and jobs for the Australia aviation industry. For more about Qantas Families Day see www.qantasfamilies.com/day