Disputes have cost $68m – Qantas

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 28, 2011
Qantas tails.

Ahead of its heated annual general meeting today, Qantas has said that the financial impact by industrial action from three of its unions, the ALAEA, TWU and AIPA, has cost it $68 million to date.

“This drawn out and coordinated industrial campaign by these three unions is having a major impact on Qantas,” Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement. “Agreeing to the unions’ unreasonable demands would have a far greater cost [than the $68 million] on the company, including risking the future of Qantas.”

The airline says almost 73,000 passengers have been affected by industrial action since August, with 129 flights cancelled and 387 delayed, and four Boeing 767s and three 737s grounded from its fleet due to a backlog of maintenance work.

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Interestingly, Qantas’s media statement lists AIPA (the Australian and International Pilots Association) alongside the TWU and ALAEA as being responsible for flight disruptions, despite AIPA limiting its protected industrial action campaign to date to pilots wearing red protest ties and making PA announcements during long haul flights about the union’s ‘Qantas pilots for Qantas flights’ campaign.

During the AGM Joyce said the three unions’ agenda was to “stop management from making the necessary changes at Qantas”.

“Their industrial objective is to force us to accept their impossible demands by slowly crippling our business and trashing our brand,” Joyce told the AGM. “But I can tell you this, we will not be handing over the power to run Qantas to three unions.”

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3 Comments

  • Keg

    says:

    Let’s put his first comment regarding ‘coordinated industrial campaign’ to the test. TWU and ALAEA have had stop work meetings and unfortunately disrupt the passengers. AIPA wear red ties and make a short but positive PA- generally right at the end of the flight immediately prior to disembarking- and apparently that’s ‘coordinated’? I wouldn’t mind the CEO telling his side of the story but the blatant distortions are getting very old. I’m glad Aus Aviation have picked that point up as it seems to be ignored by the rest of the mainstream media.

    It’s also important to note that only one of the QF 767 fleet have been grounded- the one that has been sold. The other three have had a reduced schedule but are still flying. Passenger loads on those service that have run are higher than normal.

    As a final point, nothing in the AIPA claims is about ‘running Qantas’. It is about ensuring that when passengers buy a Qantas ticket they are flown by a Qantas pilot. Not a cheap, off shore knock off masquerading as a Qantas pilot.

  • Grant McHerron (Falcon124)

    says:

    Of course, not upgrading to 777s while waiting for the 787 hasn’t hurt them financially. Nor has needing overtime from engineers to keep old 737-400s, 767s and 747s running because they’ve run down their in-house engineering resources.

    Oh yeah, and let’s not even think about how forcing people to transit London or Frankfurt to get to European destinations after already having one stop in Asia while other airlines go directly to multiple European locations after a single stop in Asia or the Middle East? Nope, doubt that made passengers go elsewhere leading to a loss of income.

    Then, of course, there’s dropping flights to London so that passengers have to change to British Airways if they’re going via Bangkok or Hong Kong just as we’re running up to the London Olympics. Nope, that won’t have had any financial impact either.

    Finally, what about the confrontationalist style started with Dixon where employees are treated as second class so they lose their incentive to go “above & beyond” leading to passengers getting upset ‘cos they’re not getting awesome service like they hear about on other airlines. Nope, that won’t have cost them anything.

    Given the above, would having the unions run the airline be any worse??? 🙂

  • John Harrison

    says:

    Sorry to see Qantas suffer under all this union -v- management fight. People Like Alan Joyce should come down from their ivory towers and see how hard the workers with Qantas try and keep its good name flying.
    A total change of top level management is requried to fix the problem I feel. Bring back John Menadue !!

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