Qantas has faced heavy criticism after the airline sent an email to staff asking them to volunteer time at the airport during its busiest period over Christmas.
The Australian Services Union (ASU) has described the carrier as a “disgrace” and accused it of “wage theft at Christmas”. In the email to head office staff, which was leaked on Friday, the airline asked them to volunteer to “lend a hand” during the holiday period.
“To support our airport teams at [Sydney] over the 2018 peak Christmas travel period, we’re trialling a new volunteer program for our Campus-based people who’d like to lend a hand to the frontline in December and January,” the email read.
“We require volunteers to assist at the self-service check-ins and auto bag drop area, bussing gates, concourse arrivals hall and at the transfer desk. The roles allocated to volunteers will depend on their preferences, skillset and security requirements.”
Qantas denied that the program was aimed at cutting costs, saying in a statement that it was about “spreading a bit of Christmas cheer during a really busy period”.