Richard Goyder’s anticipated departure from the Qantas board will clear the path for board renewal, including the CEO to be removed and a worker representative added to ensure independent scrutiny and holistic decision-making, says the TWU.
The union said Qantas governance requires a fresh start but Joyce and Goyder can’t run from accountability for illegal sackings, the judgment of an unprecedented prosecution from the safety regulator, ACCC allegations and a class action from angry customers.
The Qantas Chair will front a Senate Inquiry this afternoon, where his tenure will be under questioning and possibly come to an end. Joyce has refused to attend and cannot be summonsed while he is overseas.
On Monday, the TWU revealed the Qantas board is in breach of its own Code of Conduct and Ethics which states: “The key principle underpinning the Code is compliance with laws, regulations and ethical standards.”
It continues: “Compliance with the law means observing the letter and spirit of the law as well as managing the business of the Qantas Group so that the group and its personnel are recognised as ‘good corporate citizens’ at all times …”
The Qantas Board Charter also states: “the board is responsible for ensuring that Qantas management recognises Qantas’ legal and other obligations to all legitimate stakeholders” which are “groups… likely to sustain a social, environmental, economic or financial impact from Qantas’ actions. They include shareholders, customers, suppliers, employees, governments, regulators and members of the communities where Qantas operates…”
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said:
“The TWU has called for Goyder to step down since the day Joyce resigned, but even in the wake of a unanimous High Court ruling on 1700 illegal sackings, the Chair has clung on until the bitter end.
“Goyder has denied accountability and insisted he has support to remain in the role. That period of denial has come crashing down, leaving Goyder little choice but to face the music.
“Goyder’s exit will provide the opportunity for a total reset, which must be seized upon. Goyder and the board blindly rubber-stamped the decisions made by Alan Joyce. Qantas governance requires a board that applies independent scrutiny of the CEO without that person being a fellow board member.
“The Qantas board has refused to hear or take into account the experiences and needs of the workforce, to the serious detriment of jobs, conditions and service standards. This simply cannot continue if Qantas is to repair itself and rebuild community trust.
“While the nation hopes for a fresh start at Qantas, Joyce and Goyder must not run from accountability. A dark cloud remains over the illegal decisions made under their leadership. This isn’t a free pass to cut and run now that those decisions have caught up with them.
“Qantas has become a wannabe luxury consumer brand that really acts as a funnel for corporate greed. The legal loopholes it has exploited must be closed, and a Safe and Secure Skies Commission established to stabilise our essential aviation industry.”