Air New Zealand announces 3500 job losses due to Covid-19 pandemic

Source: 1News

Air New Zealand has today announced there will be 3500 job losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic amongst its ranks.

Air New Zealand, Boeing, 777, Taxiing at Auckland International Airport, New Zealand, 25 December 2019

An Air New Zealand spokesperson released a statement on the matter to 1 NEWS this evening.

“As a result of the financial damage caused by Covid-19, Air New Zealand has been forced to undergo a significant programme of cost reductions.

"In addition to cost savings right across our business, Air New Zealand has taken the step of reducing our workforce by 3500 roles," it begins.

"This process has not been rushed and consultation has been very comprehensive and in good faith.

"We started talking to staff and unions about these issues nine weeks ago and have done everything possible since then to collaborate and reduce the number of compulsory redundancies.

"Including calling for voluntary exits, leave without pay, applying for the Government wage subsidy, and exploring redeployment and part time options."

The statement says the airline also wanted to establish a furlough scheme but it was not supported by the E tū union.

"Our staff have been able to seek clarity on all questions they may have about the proposed changes to their employment.

"In addition to more than 700 meetings with managers, we have run 128 Live Streams for staff since the 16th of March," the Air New Zealand spokesperson says.

"We will continue to have constructive discussions with our staff and our four unions as we work to protect Air New Zealand’s future and do our best to retain the 9000 jobs that remain.”

Earlier today, an unidentified cabin crew member told E tū they were "absolutely devastated".

"Air New Zealand values its staff less than its profit and shareholders, which so sad to see unfold.

"The company's process has been rushed, overbearing, heavy-handed, and uncompromising.

"I don't believe the feedback in the consultation process was ever truly evaluated or applied."