Qantas Claims need investigation and public report back - 35,000 employees owed an apology by Qantas

Release date: 5/10/2011

The Transport Workers Union of Australia (TWU) today condemned reports of alleged threats to Qantas management and urged authorities to fully investigate the matter and make public the outcome of those investigations.

“There is no place for this kind of action. Anyone found to have committed an offence should face the full force of the law, full-stop”, National Secretary of the TWU, Tony Sheldon said.

The TWU has also received regular threats and aggressive messages in recent weeks.  See attached de-identified emails.  We have not taken these matters to the media, which Qantas appears to have been all too eager to do.

The union is curious as to the chain of events surrounding Qantas’ allegations. Who found out first, the media or the Police? Has the very public airing of these allegations compromised an investigation?

What day and times were these alleged threats issued and when were the authorities notified?” Mr Sheldon said.

The TWU is asking why Alan Joyce called on “union leaders to desist from inflammatory language” in the same breath as talking about unspecified allegations about staff being threatened? Does he know who made the threats or is he simply inclined to place the entire workforce under a cloud of suspicion?

“The TWU thinks Alan Joyce and his Board should desist from killing a great Australian airline and issue a formal apology for placing his 35,000-strong Australian workforce under suspicion.

“When Qantas talks about ‘menacing correspondence’, does it mean the letters to be sent to 1000-plus workers who will be told they no longer have a job? Or does it mean the August 16 restructuring announcement that said Qantas International was being abandoned, even though the airline recorded a $530m pre-tax profit?

The allegations raised first in today’s media need full examination, as do the claims of intimidation suffered by TWU members at the hands of Qantas management for taking industrial action.

“We are progressing our complaints to the Fair Work Ombudsman concerning the ‘midnight door-knocks’ and threatening letters our members and their families got hours before the first stoppage. We are also gathering evidence of members being refused ordinary entitlements and locked out in retaliation for participating in last week’s one-hour stoppage”, Mr Sheldon said.

Contact: Joshua Genner 0414 494 803


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