26 January 2019

Airport services contractor AeroCare has had its dubious interpretation of shift limits in the Ground Staff award thrown out. The Federal Court said the company’s claim that two shifts in one day were really just one “split shift” was “artificial”, “self-serving”, and “substantially eroded” the Award’s protection of shiftworkers. In 2013, AeroCare’s “split shift” system was approved by the FWC’s notoriously anti-union Graeme Watson, leading to workers stuck at the airport for up to 14 hours with 6 unpaid. (Watson was appointed to the FWC after helping draft the Coalition’s WorkChoices laws, and is now back at home advising the Coaliton.) AeroCare’s attempt to renew the system in 2017 was rejected for undercutting the award, and the Federal Court case was an attempt to push it through again.