News

Australia's busiest airport: Where staff battle to survive

Airport staff sleeping at work say they cannot afford to go home
Airport staff sleeping at work say they cannot afford to go home 7.30

GROUND staff have blown the whistle on what really goes on behind the scenes at Australia's busiest airport - and it isn't pretty.

Staff say they are forced to camp beside baggage carousels, sleep inside luggage containers among rat droppings and rubbish and hang around inside Sydney Airport for up to 15 hours a day in order to work split shifts for paltry pay, the ABC reports.

Workers from ground handling contractor Aerocare have also told of a frightening near-miss by sleep-deprived staff which saw a fully loaded Tiger Air passenger jet in Brisbane preparing for takeoff with a cargo door left wide open by mistake.

 

Makeshift beds underneath the passenger terminals.
Makeshift beds underneath the passenger terminals. 7.30

Aerocare is contracted to major airlines to provide ground support at Sydney airport, loading bags, passengers and performing safety checks.

"It's filthy it's cold it's dark it's just absolutely horrible," Aerocare truck driver George Orsaris told ABC's 730 program.

"It's definitely not conditions that people in this day an age, especially in Australia, (expect) are going on here. It's unthinkable."

Leaked photos show makeshift beds underneath passenger terminals, where staff say they camp out between shifts because they can't afford to go home.

"They can't afford the fuel or the tolls," Transport Workers Union spokesman Tony Sheldon said, claiming workers were earning as little as $1500 a month.

"This is a terrible indictment on the Australian workforce."

Another anonymous whistleblower told the program: "We're just getting ground down. its all about the money. it's stopped being about people ... it's just a means to an end."

Aerocare has denied the allegations of poor treatment and fatigue-related safety incidents.

The company, which reportedly posted a $13 million profit last year, said in a statement it has "invested millions of dollars to improve the quality of its rostering so as to maximise the duration of shifts, with the goal of securing more contracts which would enable Aerocare to offer employees longer shifts and further viable fulltime positions."

News Corp Australia

Topics:  airport editors picks sydney airport


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bicentennial Walkway soon to re-open

Works on the Bicentennial Walkway are underway with an expected finishing day of next Friday.

The popular walkway could be open as soon as next Friday

Whitehaven Beach Run set for big field

BLUE SKIES: The Whitehaven Beach Run on Hamilton Island is always a popular event.

Famous race set for massive year.

Shute Harbour boat ramp open today

Whitsunday Fishing World manager Grant Spees called for patience on the Shute Harbour boat ramp earlier this month.

The Shute Harbour boat ramp is now open.

Local Partners

Man hospitalised after being punched in the head

A 28-year old man was taken to Proserpine Hospital in the early hours of the morning with serious head injuries.

Debbie's graveyard: Major auction to clear written-off cars

Auto Repair and Towing Service owner Shane Muntelwit at the salvage yard behind Mackay Airport, which has become a graveyard for about 150 vehicles destroyed or written off by Cyclone Debbie.

A salvage yard has become a makeshift graveyard

What to expect at Birds of Tokyo's Ipswich gig

The band will perform at the Racehorse Hotel on Friday.

BAND member Glen Sarangapany talks music, pub grub and doing shoeys

What public holidays are left in 2017

Ipswich residents will get the day off tomorrow for the show.

IPSWICH residents will get tomorrow off for the show

Shot at the live shows slips through Sally's fingers

SUNSHINE Coast singer's dramatic elimination from The Voice nearly saw her form a duo with her battle round opponent.

Ben Stiller and Christine Taylor split after 17 years

They were married in May 2000 and have two children, who they said will remain their priority.

Ben Stiller and his wife Christine Taylor have called it a day

Why The Voice hasn't produced a star

Boy George responds to Brittania Clifford-Pugh's heart-warming message.

It's the industry, not the show, says Boy George

These actors hated their movies and didn’t mind admitting it

Channing Tatum and Marlon Wayans in a scene from GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Every year, Hollywood blesses us with plenty of God awful movies.

Miranda Kerr and fiance hang up backyard tent for wedding

The decorators and caterers are arriving for the final preparations for the wedding of Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel. Pictures: Splash

Evan Spiegel and Miranda Kerr are set to marry today

Book review: Mia Freedman's book meets her critics head on

I appreciated Freedman's blunt honesty in the book

Man's amazing comeback from monster crisis

Pat O'Driscoll agents Penny Keating and Doug Webber sold 56 Agnes St, The Range at auction over the weekend.

NOT long ago, he sold his possessions to pay staff. Now he's back.

Report reveals progress on $319m airport upgrade

Aerials of the Sunshine Coast.Jetstar plane in front of the Susnhine Coast terminal, Sunshine Coast Airport.

Over two dozen government approvals needed for airport expansion

Lost dough leaves sour taste after company collapse

Kathleen and John Mahoney from Sugar and Spice Bakery were stung after the collapse of Cantro Pty Ltd and are still owed money.

Supermarket operator collapse leaves sour taste for bakery

Open for inspection homes May 25-31

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!