Up in the air after Qantas cuts jobs

Grounded: Ryland Robinson is out of work and faces a bleak future. Picture: Marco De LucaRYLAND Robinson ‘put all his eggs in one basket’ when he moved to Melbourne from Wales to take a job with LTQ Engineering in Tullamarine three years ago.

And now he’s paying the price.

Mr Robinson is one of 164 employees devastated by the decision to cut jobs at LTQ Engineering.

LTQ, which is jointly owned by Qantas and Germany’s Lufthansa Technik, will close its doors in September, having said it can’t continue because of a strong decline in engine-overhaul demand.

The news comes in the same week that CMI Industries in Campbellfield announced 64 jobs would be cut by October.

The job losses follow Qantas’s announcement in May that it would axe 400 employees working in its heavy-maintenance base at Tullamarine.

Mr Robinson said he now had to find a way to convey the bad news to his 14-year-old daughter and eight-year-old son.

“We had never been to Australia before. We felt we were promised the world.

“How it’s been dealt with is pretty disappointing. I had promised them both that if we found an area that worked we would not move out of that area.

“Sadly, I don’t know where that leaves us now. I just hope the government can step in to save us. This is my life.”

Qantas will move engine maintenance jobs to Germany, Scotland, Thailand and China.

Australian Workers Union state secretary Cesar Melhem said it was unlikely Tullamarine workers would find jobs in Australia.

“The chance of getting another job here is very remote and that’s why I’m disappointed that Qantas hasn’t given workers a chance to see how we can turn this around.”

Hume mayor Ros Spence said the retrenchments were terrible news for the area.

“We feel for local families, workers and businesses who have been impacted by business closures and job losses.”