May 2, 2023


The TWU warns the road ahead will be uphill for new Qantas CEO Vanessa Hudson to rebuild a company where, under Alan Joyce’s management, standards have been shattered over the past decade and a half.

The announcement comes a week before High Court hearings in the ongoing case of Qantas’ illegal outsourcing of 1700 ground workers under the cover of covid.

TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said the new CEO must turn Qantas in a new direction away from the dismantling of standards it has seen for the last decade and a half under Joyce’s leadership.

“Today’s announcement is by no means a sign of relief to aviation workers, especially the 1700 illegally sacked ground workers still suffering on the sidelines. But this is a golden opportunity for a reset at Qantas.

“Over a decade Alan Joyce has systematically splintered his workforce and driven down standards to the point where Qantas is a shadow of what it once was. Joyce’s position became untenable because Qantas was treated as a corporate vessel for excessive executive bonuses and shareholder dividends. Vanessa Hudson must be courageous enough to steer Qantas back to its core purpose: high-quality service for passengers and investment in the hard-working people who built the spirit of Australia.”

“The announcement of the new CEO comes just a week before High Court hearings on the company’s illegal outsourcing of 1700 ground workers. If the High Court upholds the verdict of the full Federal Court, Joyce will go down as the CEO of a company that ordered the largest case of illegal sackings in Australian history. Clearly that’s a legacy new CEO Vanessa Hudson must strive not to emulate. It’s not a high bar but one we hope she can surmount and build upon to begin the process of renewing the Spirit of Australia.

“Our door is open for the new CEO to meet with worker representatives to establish a succession plan that would treat skilled and experienced workers as an essential investment rather than a cost.”

“In addition, to ensure that the Australian public can depend on the aviation industry, the Federal Government must create a Safe and Secure Skies Commission that establishes and enforces fair standards across aviation.”

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