164 engineers employed at Tullamarine airport will be made redundant after a deal between Qantas and Lufthansa Technik falls through.
Australia's international airline partnered with Lufthansa, a leading maintenance and repair company for aircrafts, back in 2008.
The partnership was ventured to maintain GE and CFM jet engines for Qantas 737s, 767s and 747s, and engines for the Airbus A330 and A320 airliners.
Qantas-Lufthansa Job Losses
The news comes only months after Qantas cut 400 jobs by closing heavy maintenance at the airport in Melbourne. LTQ will close in September.
"Reduced regional demand, tough international competition and more reliable new generation engines have directly impacted the viability of the business," said company chairman August Wilhelm Henningsen. "Simply put, LTQ does not have the scale of engine maintenance work to be competitive."
"Significant investment had been made in LTQ since the joint venture was formed and the shareholders had continued to support the business even though it had made consistent losses in each year of its operation. "By taking the decision now while the company remains solvent, it ensures that all employees will receive their full entitlements and all obligations to creditors can be met."
Cesar Melhem, state secretary of the Australian Workers Union notified workers of the news at 1pm. The company had informed him that they anticipated a loss of $37 million over the next 6 years, due to a lack of maintenance contracts.
19-year-old employee James Ciarlo was one of the sacked workers. He now worries about paying back his student debts. "I knocked back other apprenticeships to take this job," he said. "Who is going to take on a second year apprentice I this economy? It's just crap," he continues. "I have got a car loan and I just booked holidays to New Zealand with my girlfriend in November, I can't afford that now."
Bill Shorten, Federal Employment Minister is concerned about the news. "I'm happy to sit down with the company and the union to see what can be done to save jobs and keep jobs here," he said. "Once these skilled jobs go overseas it's hard to get them back."
Only yesterday, CMI Industrial announced losing 119 positions after closing two factories.