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Young pilots earn less than baggage handlers: Australian union

3-Dec-2010 10:30 AM

Australian and International Pilots Association told a Senate Committee investigating pilot training and airline safety that some young airline pilots are earning as little as half the minimum wage and earning less than baggage handlers (The Australian, 03-Dec-2010). The union warned the Australian airline industry is "killing itself from within" and called for a "top-down" look at safety issues. Pilots have been expressing concern about falling experience levels among new arrivals.

AIPA: "We see current developments within the industry as the industry killing itself from within. That basically has to deal with the offshoring of Australian jobs, training at the lowest possible standard overseas, third-party training providers and we're seeing the situation where pilots are paid salaries below the basic wage in Australia and certainly below the baggage handler that's handling the bags on aircraft. We see there's a potential in the industry to go down the same route that they've seen in Europe and the United States (with) decreasing experience levels and the dumbing down of training. The solution, we believe, is a top-down look at the industry both from the government and from the industry itself to see where we sit in relation to those aspects we've seen overseas and to address those very issues," Richard Woodward, VP. Source: The Australian, 03-Dec-2010.