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.

INTERACTIVE: Where Queensland inmates call home

The Women’s Correctional Centre at Wacol does not have enclosed walkways, unlike the men’s prisons.

Why small towns and Indigenous communities have so many inmates

Travis Collins, Keith Urban win big at CMC Music Awards

Country music singer Travis Collins.

LEE Kernaghan also inducted into CMC Hall of Fame.

Woman charged over alleged charity fraud

Charges against Bianca Amanda Vella, 36, have been transferred from Ipswich to their originating court at Southport for another mention next month.

Police allege she used social media to intimidate, harrass witness

Local Partners

Beer in boot makes lasting impression at CMC Rocks

American country star Tyler Farr treats his CMC Rocks debut performance like “an audition for Australia”

CMC Rocks is just the ticket for Eric Paslay

HAPPY TO BE HERE: American country singer Eric Paslay will play CMC Rocks 2017.

Country music singer is touring overseas for the first time.

Daredevils of Nitro Circus to thrill Lismore

Oakes Oval in Lismore will host the sell-out, worldwide phenomenon that is Nitro Circus Live during its 15-city Australian tour in April.

The (in)famous 55-foot high Nitro Giganta ramp is the centrepiece

CHOOSING LIFE: Emu Park veteran leads way out of PTSD

WINNING THE FIGHT: Andrea Josephs with her daughter Kyla (10) at the Emu Park Anzac Memorial ahead of her official Matilda Poppy launch this weekend.

Andrea Josephs will officially launch Matilda Poppy in new hometown

Housewives’ shocking public fight gets physical

THE Real Housewives of Sydney air their dirty laundry at an art gallery opening this week, screaming vile insults as members of the public look on.

Married At First Sight's shock vow renewal decisions

Nadia’s final decision at the vow renewal ceremony leaves us stunned.

NADIA and Susan's decisions stun viewers.

Family Feud host Grant Denyer in hospital after rally crash

He’s OK. Grant Denyer has survived a serious car crash near Melbourne. Picture: Zak Simmonds

Grant Denyer airlifted to hospital after horror crash

Would you like 90 weeks of paid parental leave?

“It’s changed the culture,” say the Latte Papas of Sweden’s generous parental leave provisions.

Why not move to Sweden: the world’s best place to be a dad

Only one woman nominated for the Gold Logie

Love Child and The Wrong Girl star Jessica Marais is nominated for a Gold Logie this year.

Jessica Marais is about to star in a new Logies controversy

Beer in boot makes lasting impression at CMC Rocks

Country music star Tyler Farr posted this picture of himself drinking a 'booty' at the CMC Festival.

American country star Tyler Farr debuts at CMC Rocks

Our Caitlyn a No.1 hit at CMC Music Awards

RISING STAR: Caitlyn Shadbolt at the CMC Music Awards on the Gold Coast.

Caitlyn Shadbolt enjoys one of the most exciting weeks of her career

Location and lifestyle

426 Oceanic Drive South, Wurtulla.

When you want it all

Prominently positioned showroom, workshop on offer

Drive in to a high-profile Kunda Park commercial property

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!