Breaking News Today

More cases linked to Qantas cluster as union slams airline

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The union representing airline baggage handlers has accused Qantas of not doing enough to protect workers from the coronavirus, after an outbreak at Adelaide Airport.

The union representing airline baggage handlers has accused Qantas of not doing enough to protect workers from the coronavirus, after an outbreak at Adelaide Airport.

South Australia today reported seven new cases linked to six Qantas baggage handlers who tested positive to COVID-19, bringing the cluster to 13.

Baggage handlers unload luggage from a Qantas plane.

Of the new cases, five are baggage handlers and two are family members.

Up to 100 baggage handlers and ground staff may have to self-isolate for 14 days, SA Health said yesterday.

Qantas has flown in two airport managers to train up a new workforce of baggage handlers.

The Transport Workers' Union (TWU) has demanded Qantas hand over information and documents relating to the six baggage handlers.

TWU SA Branch Secretary Ian Smith claimed in a statement "there was worrying evidence" the infection was allowed to spread because of "lax systems" in place.

Do you know more? Email msaunoko@nine.com.au

"We are informed that following an initial infection not enough protections were put in place to stop the spread," Mr Smith said.

"This is very serious as it means Qantas allowed its workers and workers in other companies to become exposed through its own negligence."

Yesterday, Qantas cancelled seven Adelaide flights, including a plane from Sydney that was turned back mid-flight.

The TWU claimed Qantas had "repeatedly down-played the risk of exposure" to workers, including cabin crew, cleaners, caterers and baggage handlers.

Nine.com.au does not suggest Qantas was negligent.

Coronavirus: Qantas flight from Sydney turned back

Travellers set to fly from Adelaide have been urged to defer all non-essential travel.

Passengers who must fly have been told to wipe down their bags and wash their hands as often as possible

READ:  Virgin Australia to stand down 8,000 workers, slash flights

Anyone who has travelled through the airport since Monday and has have flu-like symptoms should immediately be tested, SA Health said.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall today announced 300 people would be drafted in to the state's contact tracing teams.

He did not rule out closing down Adelaide airport, if warranted.

As of 6am (AEST) today, there were 337 cases of coronavirus in South Australia, a rise of 32 overnight.

Nine.com.au has contacted Qantas for comment.

Do you know more? Email msaunoko@nine.com.au

For breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the 9News app and set notifications to on at the App Store or Google Play.

You can also get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App StoreGoogle Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-baggage-handler-union-slams-qantas-over-adelaide-airport-covid-19-outbreak/cf1f79e4-6961-4e2d-b94b-8e2205e5501e

Shares
Share This
Finance Advice 2021