This is the link to this story:http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/842039...s-could-be-lost
The federal government says vital skills could be lost forever if Qantas axes hundreds of maintenance jobs.
The airline is reportedly poised to announce the closure of at least one heavy maintenance base as it puts more than 1400 jobs under review.
Maintenance job losses will occur at Tullamarine and Avalon in Victoria and at the airline's Brisbane operations, media reports say.
Employment Minister Bill Shorten admits Qantas has some big challenges to address including competing with airlines overseas that have a lower cost base and the high Australian dollar.
"By the same token you can cut too much and then lose skills that are never coming back," he told ABC Radio on Thursday.
"And there will be a time when we need skilled engineers."
ACTU secretary Jeff Lawrence says job cuts at Qantas will not surprise the trade union movement.
"Ever since the dispute last year it's been pretty clear that Qantas was intent on restructuring operations and cutting jobs," he said.
Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) national secretary Dave Oliver said the union wanted to be part of any review of Qantas' engineering requirements.
"Obviously we're very concerned when we get an announcement of this kind and we want to ensure that we will be part of that review," Mr Oliver told ABC Radio.
"We have sought urgent discussions with Qantas management to get an understanding of the timeline of the review and what they are going to be looking at."
He said the union would fight any moves to shift Qantas jobs overseas.
"One of the things we will be fighting tooth and nail on is if there's any attempt to use this review at Qantas to try to outsource any work that's currently being done here at the moment," he said.
This was not unexpected with the discontent last year after Qantas management decided to shift some maintenance jobs overseas. Not good news as they are or rather were the mainstay of aviation in Australia. Hard times ahead I fear.