Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has responded to union claims concerning job security in light of yesterday’s announcement of 1000 job losses as part of the extensive restructure of the airline’s international operations.
Qantas will offer voluntary redundancies to 1000 staff, which reportedly includes approximately 500 cabin crew, 200 engineers and 180 pilots, as well as various other associated personnel. “Of the 1000 positions that will be made redundant, not a single job will be lost as a result of Qantas’ plans to invest in a new premium airline in Asia,” Joyce said, stressing that Qantas would always be a majority Australia-owned airline.
“Some of the numbers being quoted today by union leaders – of between 5000 and 10,000 jobs affected – are completely unfounded,” he added.
“The new strategy we announced for Qantas International yesterday is about ensuring that Qantas as a whole is competitive and sustainable for the next 10 years and beyond.”
The announcement of job losses coincides with the Qantas Group’s plans for two new Asian-based carriers, which has raised the ire of unions concerned about the future direction of Qantas International.
“This announcement flies in the face of all that makes Qantas great, that is its staff,” Australian Services Union (ASU) Assistant National Secretary Linda White said in a statement.
“ASU members will not be flat footed – we intend to fight this. We successfully lobbied in relation to the APA bid and we will do it again because Australians deserve better,” White added.
Australian & International Pilot’s Association (AIPA) president Captain Barry Jackson was equally scathing of the Qantas restructure, urging the federal government “to look very carefully at the implications of Alan Joyce’s announcement today for the Australian public”.
“Strip away the spin and the eye-watering amount spent on advertising this morning and what’s left is exactly what Qantas pilots have been warning of for months: a shift of Australian Qantas operations into Asia to start employing people working to Asian conditions and standards,” Jackson said.
“The Qantas Sale Act was established when Qantas was privatised to prevent a CEO like Alan Joyce from doing something like this, because it is not in the interest of Australia or Australians,” he continued.
“Until we get an assurance from Alan Joyce that future Qantas flights will be operated by Qantas pilots – instead of outsourced and offshored alternatives – we will be doing everything we can to stop this destructive strategy for Qantas’s future.”