Frustration at Qantas Management Growing

Release date: 26/09/2011

Members of the Transport Workers Union of Australia (TWU) will stop work for one hour at 8am this Friday, September 30 at all major airports. The stoppage is in accordance with protected industrial ballots conducted among baggage handlers, presentation and catering staff taken over the last month, which over 95 per cent of TWU members voted in favor of.

"TWU members are angered by Qantas' continued refusal to come to the negotiating table with any real offers. Delegates are turning up to meetings and witnessing disinterest by Qantas negotiators. Qantas employees want to come to an agreement, it's high time management showed some respect and sat down and began working towards resolving the issues," TWU National Secretary, Tony Sheldon said today.

TWU members remain concerned that Qantas is hell bent on dragging this matter out, despite the old enterprise bargaining agreement expiring months ago. To date, Qantas has not engaged meaningfully on any issue. They have even attacked the union's request for minor amounts of leave for blood donors.

"This demonstrates everything about the so called New Spirit, ” said lead TWU negotiator, Scott Connolly. "TWU members deserve some answers, but all we see are delay tactics and nonsense streaming from the mouths of a phalanx of different spokespeople. The fact that every union is getting similar treatment should say to the Australian public that Qantas is disinterested in getting on with preserving the airline's worldwide reputation."

"TWU members have ensured that Qantas is profitable, safe and able to grow. The thanks they get is a management that awards itself pay increases up to 71 per cent and wants to relocate essential services to destinations that have few, if any, of the safeguards that have kept Qantas flying with its tremendous safety record intact", Tony Sheldon said.

"It was open to members to take longer industrial action this week, but they want to keep Qantas passengers flying with minimal disruption this week given the school holiday period and football finals this weekend.”

The one hour stoppage is to provide members with an update on negotiations and determine future strategy. Regrettably this future strategy may recommend further action to mitigate against what now looks like a deliberate war of attrition by Qantas management.

"The fact is that Qantas employees now see the airline they have worked with for many years trying to dump and devalue them. We are telling the Qantas board and senior management that this is wrong and they should stop hanging around for a change of government and the reintroduction of WorkChoices MK II," Tony Sheldon said.

Contact: Joshua Genner - 0414 494 803


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