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Hiring / Firing news 5/28/12

Jetstar accused of hiring underpaid foreign workers

  • Jetstar accused of paying Thai cabin crew half rate
  • Claims crew is owed thousands of dollars
  • Jetstar say they were paid in country of employment

JETSTAR is being taken to court for allegedly allowing Thai cabin crew to be paid half the rate of the budget airline’s Australian staff.

The Fair Work Ombudsman claimed Thai crew working on Jetstar’s domestic routes were owed thousands of dollars in back pay.

The ombudsman, at a hearing on August 17, will urge the Federal Court to stop the alleged underpayments.

“While litigation commenced today involves just eight foreign workers, the Fair Work Ombudsman may take further action for up to 300 cabin crew rostered across Jetstar’s domestic routes,” the ombudsman said.

The ombudsman’s case involves two Asian recruitment firms part-owned by Jetstar’s parent, Qantas.

Valuair Ltd and Thai company Tour East Ltd recruit cabin crew to work exclusively for Jetstar on domestic and international flights.

The ombudsman wants Valuair and Tour East to reimburse the eight Jetstar crew at the center of the court case with more than $7500 they are allegedly owed in back pay. It is also seeking penalties against Jetstar.

A spokeswoman for Jetstar said that while the airline did not use overseas crews on purely domestic flights, it did use a mix of overseas and Australian-based crew on international flights.

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