Today’s Qantas AGM was the final nail in the coffin for Richard Goyder and showed genuine board renewal is necessary to restore the trust of shareholders, customers, workers and the public, said the Transport Workers’ Union.
Goyder’s defensive, lackluster and at times incoherent performance at the AGM did not reflect the behaviour expected of someone so experienced.
The Chair refused to answer questions, shielded directors from questions directed to them, and ordered “close down microphone 2” when a shareholder questioned Joyce’s dumping of shares shortly before the ACCC announced its investigation.
When asked why shareholders have had to pay for the poor ethical decisions of the board to twice appeal the Federal Court ruling that Qantas illegally sacked 1700 workers, Goyder went beyond his usual denial of wrongdoing and said:
“We would never as a board or executive, and this goes to your question on ethics, would never ever do anything that we felt was illegal… I’ve got absolutely zero concern about the ethics of the people who sit alongside me on the Qantas board.”
The TWU said the visible outrage from shareholders and overwhelming protest vote on the remuneration report made a definitive case for Richard Goyder to follow Alan Joyce in an immediate exit to pave the way for a fresh start in Qantas governance.
TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said workers can be proud that their battle to expose illegal outsourcing has brought retribution to the Qantas board and a significant protest on Joyce’s obscene pay packet.
“The tables have turned on the Qantas board in a way that would never have happened if workers hadn’t stood up against the corporate bully. The board has been blinded by the spotlight shone on it by courageous workers who fought tooth and nail to prove that the Joyce and Goyder-led executive team was responsible for the largest case of illegal sackings in our history.
“It’s no surprise the remuneration report received such backlash. In light of decimated standards, obliterated jobs, and illegal behaviour, the report was worse than sales on ghost flights – it was essentially a multimillion-dollar fee for disservice.
“Today’s appalling performance is the final nail in the coffin for Goyder who must stand down immediately. Qantas stands a chance at a fresh start if recruitment is done right.
“Genuine board renewal means bringing in people-focused directors with demonstrated experience prioritising good jobs and high standards over personal gains. Phony progressive Todd Sampson types don’t fit the bill.
“Qantas is at rock bottom. To rebuild our essential aviation industry, we need urgent action to close the loopholes exploited by Qantas, and a Safe and Secure Skies Commission to rebalance the industry with good, secure jobs and quality service standards rather than outrageous corporate greed and self-serving governance,” he said.
Earlier today, an anticipated judgment was delayed on a first-ever criminal prosecution from the safety regulator for targeting and standing down Health and Safety Representative Theo Seremetidis at the start of the pandemic.