Leaked Footage Shows Syd Airport Workers’ “Third World” Sleeping Conditions
Secret footage obtained by ABC’s 7.30 shows the makeshift sleeping quarters (read: sleeping bags on bare concrete) used by some Sydney airport workers, who claim their current working hours don’t allow them to rest at home before returning.
Speaking to 7.30, a driver for aviation services firm Aerocare claimed staff don’t get rest breaks, and that four hour shifts were frequently separated by “four-or-five hour” time periods.
He claims those breaks aren’t long enough for workers to get home and have any meaningful kind of rest, resulting in workers opting to sleep in an employees-only area near a baggage carousel.
Another staffer said “people are being so poorly remunerated they don’t care about their jobs,” which could impact how adequately workers follow safety standards. Of course, if you’re in the aerospace industry, every safety standard is crucial.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has called the makeshift sleeping quarters “Third World” in quality.
The TWU has also criticised the enterprise agreement which allowed the separation of those shifts, with national secretary Tony Sheldon saying “this is being allowed to happen because airports and airlines are outsourcing work to low cost companies and not giving a damn about the workers in their supply chains that it affects.”
Aerocare chief executive Glenn Rutherford told Fairfaximprovements are being made to the company’s rostering system to ensure shifts are as long as possible, but maintained working hours are largely dictated by flight schedules.
Rutherford also shot down any claims that workers are “forced to do anything,” saying “it is difficult to comprehend how anyone could make such a claim” considering the string of safety audits Aerocare aced last year.
Aerocare also released a full statement on the matter, in which it “fully refutes” the claims aired on 7.30 and “any misrepresentations regarding our safety record, which at all times remains our #1 focus.”