TWU

Qantas Talks

Release date: 5/03/2014

Transport Workers Union National Secretary Tony Sheldon today said he would urge Qantas CEO Alan Joyce to reveal his future plans for the airline, and to back away from the proposed 5000 sackings, at talks in Sydney this afternoon.

On Thursday February 27, Qantas’ Board announced 5000 job cuts, but failed to outline a strategy to restore profitability.
 
“Regrettably, the Qantas Board is not willing to join its employees in supporting the airline’s future,” Mr Sheldon said
 
“The workforce has made clear it wants to discuss cost-saving measures to mitigate job losses, but the company simply isn’t interested.
 
“Taxpayers have a right to insist that Qantas and the Government explain how it will protect Australian jobs while they are encouraging foreign control.”
 
Mr Sheldon said he would be seeking from Mr Joyce:
 
·      Details of Qantas’ strategy to return to profitability;
·      A commitment to discuss cost savings to mitigate proposed job losses;
·      A commitment to rethink the failed Jetstar Asia strategy, which was the cause of Qantas’ half-year loss; and
·      A fair and even playing field for family incomes across the aviation industry.
 
Mr Sheldon said Qantas had misjudged their sackings announcement, made without consultation last Thursday.
 
“Public opinion has united against Qantas’ sacking and foreign takeover plans,” Mr Sheldon said.
 
“Political leaders like Clive Palmer and Senator Xenophon have also made clear the real cause for Qantas’ woes are the decisions of its Board.”
 
Yesterday (4 March), Palmer United party leader Clive Palmer called for the Board and CEO to be sacked.
 
And last week (27 February), independent Senator Nick Xenophon said:
 
“Alan Joyce and the Qantas Board have brought one of the world’s great airlines and a national icon to its knees. Their botched strategy of pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into Jetstar’s Asian operations seems to be the real cause of the demise, and Australians shouldn’t believe Mr Joyce’s lame excuses.”
 
Mr Sheldon said the Qantas workforce was highly productive, and loyal to the airline where many had worked for decades.
 
On February 27, Qantas management reported that workforce productivity had increased by more than 22% in recent years.
 
Despite repeated promises of a pay freeze for executives, executive pay at Qantas has risen by 82% since 2010.
 
A 2011 Oxford Economics study found each Qantas baggage handler, check-in staff and ramp worker generated a $205,000 return to Qantas above the cost of their employment.


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