TWU

OPEN LETTER TO ALAN JOYCE

Release date: 30/10/2011

Dear Mr Joyce,

Please Bargain Fairly In The Interests Of Australian Families. 

Qantas made an offer to workplace representatives ten days ago.

I have attached the Qantas offer to remind you of how negotiations were progressing towards a conclusion.

The heart of this dispute is Qantas refusing to agree to the same job security provisions that hundreds of other companies, including in the aviation industry, recently agreed to – with no industrial action. These arrangements provide flexibility to an employer and certainty to employees.

We welcomed the fact the company finally made an offer and hoped to consult your employees about it. We sought to quickly conclude a mutually productive agreement. However, you did not allow the workplace representatives to put this offer to its members and required our on-the-spot agreement to its terms.

The workplace representatives have never made a decision without consulting the relevant employees. The company’s negotiators knew that to be true. It is standard, democratic process.

You offered Qantas ground and catering crews the following with respect to job security: 

* Airports – 45% of work contracted out
Fleet – 55% of work contracted out
* Catering – 45% of work contracted out Freight – 25% of work contracted out

Click here to read Qantas' offer

You followed this offer with the statement that no matter what was agreed to, Qantas would not agree to legally enforce the terms of the offer. As you know, no ordinary person would consider this fair. It was nonetheless progress.

Qantas has contracted out work at the same rates of pay and conditions as per agreements with the ACTU and the TWU over many years. The levels, training, rates of pay and conditions have always been a topic of meaningful discussion, until now.

Qantas employees deserve certainty for the two or more years the next industrial agreement lasts.

They deserve better than to have the company renege on the prior agreement to implement industry best practice standards throughout the airline and to participate in the award modernisation. 

Despite this, Qantas workplace representatives stood ready to negotiate. We were making rapid progress over just a few days. 

On pay, the company offered 3% per annum, with 1% extra for some senior staff. We have always said the 5% pay and 1% superannuation request was negotiable.

You also agreed to review work systems to ensure that the allocation of work was “fair and equitable” and preference for existing Qantas employees in filling advertised positions.

Your employees seek a genuine re-opening of negotiations and the resumption of normal Qantas services, with each party able to observe its respective rights, free of intimidation and victimisation by the company. 

You followed this offer with the statement that no matter what was agreed to, Qantas would not agree to legally enforce the terms of the offer. As you know, no ordinary person would consider this fair. It was nonetheless progress.

Qantas has contracted out work at the same rates of pay and conditions as per agreements with the ACTU and the TWU over many years. The levels, training, rates of pay and conditions have always been a topic of meaningful discussion, until now.

Qantas employees deserve certainty for the two or more years the next industrial agreement lasts.

They deserve better than to have the company renege on the prior agreement to implement industry best practice standards throughout the airline and to participate in the award modernisation.

Despite this, Qantas workplace representatives stood ready to negotiate. We were making rapid progress over just a few days.

On pay, the company offered 3% per annum, with 1% extra for some senior staff. We have always said the 5% pay and 1% superannuation request was negotiable.

You also agreed to review work systems to ensure that the allocation of work was “fair and equitable” and preference for existing Qantas employees in filling advertised positions.

Your employees seek a genuine re-opening of negotiations and the resumption of normal Qantas services, with each party able to observe its respective rights, free of intimidation and victimisation by the company.

Yours sincerely,

Tony Sheldon
National Secretary


30 October 2011

Click here to read TWU's open letter to Alan Joyce


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