Qantas would let go 530 heavy maintenance staff at its Tullamarine and Avalon facilities as it restructures. The announcement this week that Melbourne-based Qantas employees would lose their jobs is expected to affect Sydney workers further down the track.
National secretary of the Transport Workers' Tony Sheldon said it would deal a devastating blow for workers and their families.
Sheldon said the skilled and experienced employees with decades of employment at Qantas had been cast aside by management adding that it was yet another example of the militant, arrogant management at Qantas further tarnishing the already battered image of an Australian icon.
A union spokesman said that while the latest job cuts were limited to Melbourne, this would change.
Qantas, he added, had a long-term plan to outsource its entire maintenance, which he said, was the company's strategy.
Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce said the move would maximise the benefits of the next-generation fleet of aircraft and other initiatives were underway to increase efficiency and productivity.
Meanwhile, a further 60 per cent pruning of heavy maintenance requirements was projected in next seven years.