Flight Centre have announced workforce reductions and store closures.

Posted on October 2, 2020

You will have been called to attend a briefing from the Company yesterday to hear their announcement. We know that you may be concerned about this announcement, but we want to assure you that your union is with you throughout this process.

A large number of Flight Centre employees have been stood down since March 2020. In meetings with management since then, the likelihood that a number of Flight Centre stores would need to be permanently closed was discussed but the Company did not tell us about any firm decisions having been made. 

The ASU attended the 3:00pm AEST briefing with Flight Centre on Wednesday to hear about closures across the store network and a restructure of the workforce. We have also sought a meeting with the Company to discuss the impacts of their proposals.

Here's summary of the announcements made yesterday:

  • 91 locations currently open and trading will be closed over the next 5 weeks.
  • Another 54 locations will temporarily close for a period of up to 6-12 months. Those locations could reopen once increased demand for travel returns.
  • Due to the store closures, Flight Centre notified employees about major change.
  • Flight Centre prefers to make all positions vacant and subject to an expressions of interest process.
  • Flight Centre have identified a range of new positions: 286 permanent leadership positions (made up of both senior team leaders and team leaders); 1,065 permanent consultant positions; an expanded employment group made up of approximately 600 temporary maximum term positions offered a one day a week work in the store network.
  • Flight Centre opened an Expression of Interest (EOI) for new positions yesterday.

The ASU is seeking information about the proposed breakdown of positions by store and by state, as well as the numbers of consultant and team leaders positions that need to be made redundant in a reduced store network.

Flight Centre should have known better

The ASU have serious concerns about Flight Centre’s proposals. The proposals present a significant impact on the entire employee group. Why are all employees being asked to re-apply for their jobs when the Company already knows which roles will be needed in an interim and future store network? 

There are steps Flight Centre must take before terminating any employee that mitigate the impacts to you. We are writing to management about the deficiencies in their proposal and seeking an urgent meeting to discuss a way forward. 

Flight Centre should also offer employees the opportunity to volunteer for redundancy. This is fair and reasonable. It means that only employees who want to leave will be made redundant. 

We know that this latest announcement is very concerning. Please don't hesitate to contact us by emailing privatesector@together.org.au if you have any questions - we are here to help.  

I encourage you to share this email with your colleagues and let them know that they can join their union so that they can get the support and advice that they need during this process. They can join securely by clicking on the button below.

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