Qantas CEO Alan Joyce says proposed changes to the Qantas Sale Act would threaten the airline’s survival.
The changes, pushed by an independent Senator Nick Xenophon and backed by unions, would impose job security clauses and bar use of foreign crews on domestic flights. Joyce, who appeared before a Senate hearing today, said the bill would hamstring Qantas’s efforts to expand internationally.
“It would not make us more Australian. It would not protect Australian jobs,” he said. “It would have the opposite effect. It would put our business in jeopardy. It would threaten Australian jobs.”
The proposed changes in the Sale Act, which do not have the support of the government or the opposition, come in the wake of Qantas’s controversial decision to ground all its flights over the weekend as it faced an escalating labour dispute.
“”If you want to survive and succeed we must be free to pursue global opportunities,” Joyce told the Senate.
Meanwhile, Joyce told the Senate hearing that Qantas would compensate passengers affected by the weekend’s grounding “above and beyond” levels required by the ACCC.
“It was always our intention, and you’ll see on Monday what we’re doing,” Joyce said.
Joyce also conceded it was a “mistake” to continue taking bookings after the grounding was announced on Saturday.