ALP Senator Tony Sheldon has called for the resignation of Qantas chair Richard Goyder following CEO Alan Joyce’s early exit under a cloud of controversy.
In a scathing statement, Senator Sheldon, a long-time foe of Joyce, said the Qantas board “cannot hide behind Joyce’s resignation” and that Goyder’s head should be the next on the chopping block.
“Alan Joyce’s Qantas legacy is a workforce split across 38 companies and a brand now synonymous with low pay, insecure work, illegal sackings and consumer rip-offs,” he said.
“The Board has backed Joyce’s behaviour at every step and must be held equally accountable for the disgraceful state of the company.
“If Qantas is serious about turning over a new leaf, they will reinstate the 1,700 illegally sacked workers and support closing Joyce’s labour hire loophole. Mr Joyce’s resignation makes the Liberals and Nationals’ continued support for Mr Joyce’s labour hire loophole even more indefensible.”
Senator Sheldon also called on the Qantas board and shareholders to “knock Mr Joyce’s bonus off”.
“If the Board allows Mr Joyce to walk away with $24 million after illegally sacking 1,700 people, gouging customers and while subject to an ACCC prosecution, it will be the swindle of the century.
“Qantas’ illegally outsourced baggage handlers earn $65,000 per year. If Mr Joyce walks away with his $24 million, he will make their annual salary in less than 6 hours.”
Senator Sheldon last week harangued Joyce at a fiery Senate committee hearing into the cost of living, questioning him, Jetstar CEO Stephanie Tully, and Qantas head of corporate affairs Andrew McGinnes over matters ranging from COVID-19 flight credits to high levels of complaints, outsourcing of workers, and Joyce’s own pay packet.
The Senator had previously called for Joyce’s immediate resignation in May following the announcement he would step down at the group’s AGM in November, to be replaced by CFO Vanessa Hudson.
Joyce on Tuesday moved up the date of his resignation, with Hudson to take the reins from Wednesday following recent damaging headlines.