Chances of Ansett flying are growing says Combet
Source: AAP|Published: Wednesday September 26, 9:22 AM
Unions were willing to negotiate on employee issues in a bid to get Ansett back in the air, ACTU secretary Greg Combet said today.
However, Mr Combet said pay cuts for staff were not an "attractive" option.
The chances of Ansett flying again were "growing each day", with at least two rescue plans put forward to achieve this, Mr Combet said.
Administrators have proposed the government waive some fees and charges and provide a guarantee on tickets for passengers flying with a resurrected Ansett.
The union's own proposed rescue plan involves the administrators drawing up a viable business, backed by federal government funding.
Mr Combet said the Howard government needed to publicly acknowledge it wanted Ansett back in the air and offer some sort of financial support.
"To date, the government hasn't made that commitment," he told the Seven Network's Sunrise program.
"They are being asked to provide a guarantee and to waive some fees and charges by the administrators.
"That's the sort of thing the government is going to have to do to save jobs and get this thing kick-started."
Mr Combet said the union should not have to make concessions in regards to staff, but was willing to negotiate to save jobs.
About 16,000 Ansett employees were forced out of work when the airline collapsed almost two weeks ago.
"This airline hasn't collapsed because of the employees," he said.
"It's not their pay and conditions that have led to this problem, it's been mismanagement and poor government policy making.
"We are prepared to sit down with people to make sure it is a viable airline that can get in the air, the staffing numbers are right, the productivity and efficiency issues are addressed.
"But we're very determined to protect people's pay and employment conditions in the process."
He said pay cuts were not something the union movement would consider favourably.
"I don't think its fair to ask the employees to do that," he said.
"We're prepared to sit down and negotiate ... but just a simple solution of saying that we've got to cop a pay cut is really not very attractive."