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Union playing safety card for industrial reasons – Joyce

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 29, 2010

Alan Joyce has defended the sacking of a Jetstar pilot.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce  has accused AIPA (the Australian and International Pilots Association) of playing the “safety card” when it is instead waging an industrial dispute over Jetstar’s sacking of first officer Joe Eakins for a recent newspaper article, noting that Eakins had breached Jetstar’s code of conduct.

“When something is related to industrial relations issues and it’s a breach of the code of conduct we’re going to act in that way,” Joyce told ABC TV’s Inside Business program in an interview which aired on November 28.  “And again, for the union to use this as an example and use this to say it’s all about safety is them using the safety card for industrial relations. It’s purely that yet again. It is outrageous that they keep doing this.”

Said Joyce of Eakins’ actions, “He was given opportunities to come in and talk about why he was doing it and to correct the action. He refused to come in and talk to the management and the management were left with no other action but to actually terminate his employment.”

Joyce also defended Jetstar’s decision to base pilots in Singapore on Singaporean wages and conditions, Eakins’ key point of contention in his newspaper article.

“What the pilots in Singapore are actually employed to fly for [is] Jetstar Asia which is a Singapore entity, flying and competing against all of the carriers in the region and the pilots are paid quite well,” Joyce said.


“They’re paid in the top few per cent of the population in that country.”

Meanwhile, AIPA has launched a petition protesting the sacking, which will be sent to Jetstar Australia and NZ CEO David Hall, and a support fund to raise money for Eakins.

“You can be sure that this event is a turning point for Australian aviation. Pilots’ jobs and the safety regime they fly by is under attack by airlines, particularly aggressive low cost carriers such as Jetstar that pretend to welcome feedback but sack people when that feedback is too clear and too compelling to hear,” AIPA posted on the pprune.org website.

“You can also be sure that AIPA will devote whatever is required to assist Joe Eakins return to his career as a pilot.”

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Comments (4)

  • Concerned


    All this talk (from many sources) of crew experience and remuneration and aircraft maintenance cost cutting, does nothing to instill confidence in the travelling public!

    One can understand however that this controversial topic is not “going away” as it is very public knowledge that there have been several “in flight incidents” reported in recent months!

    Let us hope, that it be the case with Main Stream Airlines and Budget Airlines a like, that this publicity stimulates a healthy look at crew and maintenance matters and that it does not follow that Budget Airline also means less experienced crew and reduced maintenance services, but rather, only reduced in flight cabin services &/or stricter ticketing requirements etc as we have all come to understand.

  • Spin Cycle


    …… and a clear example of CEO Alan Joyce again playing the “militant Union” card the moment valid concerns are raised within his own organisation…. spin, spin, spin…….

  • Tyron


    The pilot issues are just the tip of the iceberg … An iceberg that Mr Joyce and other management roles within the Qantas Group refuse to acknowledge… If the pilots think they have it bad spare a thought for the NZ based cabin crew whose pay and conditions are embarrassingly inferior to their Australian counterparts and are continuing to get worse. Having worked from 2005-2009 under these conditions, It baffles me that an organisation based around looking after people, fails to look after its own people. The management teams at these airlines are good at and primarily motivated by one thing … making money… That became very apparent during my time as an employee within the Qantas Group, meanwhile it was also became very apparent that service and safety standards/practices were being compromised and exposed… behold people, the true spirit of Australia

  • Gadjet


    Mr Joyce has fallen over himself to praise the efforts of the flight crew on the QF 32/A380 that had the problem recently, I ask would the result of this unfolding calamity been as favorable had the crew been less experienced and trained?
    I don’t think you can put a price on the end result that unfolded.

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