Release date: 19/08/2009

The Transport Workers Union has congratulated Qantas employees and management on today’s announcement that Australia’s national airline had posted a yearly profit of almost $121 million.

TWU national secretary, Tony Sheldon, said the result was made more remarkable given global economic conditions are worse than they had been since the Great Depression, and airlines across the world are failing to turn a profit.

“The fact that Qantas has managed to post a profit when the entire airline industry internationally is suffering is a credit to the staff of Qantas, who over decades of service have built a strong and viable Australian company,” Mr Sheldon said.

“We have a lot of members who are now working at the same company their parents did and they take a lot of pride in the air-line. It is through their loyalty that Qantas has been able to pull through in the way it has.

“CEO Alan Joyce should also be congratulated on his performance. He took over the position from Geoff Dixon at a difficult time following the failed private equity bid and looming worldwide financial crisis, but to his credit he has managed to keep the ship afloat,” Mr Sheldon said.

Mr Sheldon said the TWU made contact with the company today to call on Qantas to talk to workers over the announced restructures, and said the union will be meeting with members and delegates to discuss the $1.5 billion in proposed cost cuts.

“While we can take some comfort in Qantas saying they will not make further job cuts across the airline, we are still concerned over the way the company could be looking to save money,” Mr Sheldon said.

“Qantas has said they will look at their procurement, or outsourcing of goods and services, and that has been a major concern of the workforce for some time.

“Lowest cost will put further pressure on safety and security, so we will be engaging with Qantas and the workforce over their plans for the future,” Mr Sheldon said.

What: Transport Workers Union National Secretary, Tony Sheldon, will
be available for media comment.
When: Wednesday, August 19 at 3.30pm
Where: Unions NSW Atrium, 377 Sussex St, Sydney

Media contact: Seth Tenkate 0408 463 199.

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