Qantas to ground airline/lock out employeesBack to Forum
Anonymous29 Oct 2011
A very high stakes game being played:
Qantas will lock out all its employees covered by the agreements that are currently in dispute.
And it has grounded its entire domestic and international fleets indefinitely.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says the airline will lock out staff until the unions withdraw their extreme claim and reach agreeement with us.
The lock out will begin at 8pm AEDT on Monday.
Mr Joyce said his hand had been tipped by the impossible demands of the three unions.29 Oct 2011
It’s good to see Joyce taking such a proactive stand, had Walsh had the guts to do the same thing at BA with the cabin crew the dispute would have been short lived and we would now have an integrated cabin crew structure rather than the ridiculous arrangement currently in place.29 Oct 2011
A dreadful decision from a CEO who has shown a distinct lack of any ability to manage and sell his vision for the future to the staff. Many many thousands will be disrupted and without warning and with no ability to make alternative arrangements. The BBC described what he did as the nuclear option and one can only hope that in doing so the CEO is removed in order that a more enlightened approach to people can be taken. This is after all a profitable and successful carrier, there is no need for this but there is a need for multi million dollar CEO to take people with them and many many business around the world including those highly unionised, have been able to take their people with them through consultation discussion and putting people at the heart of what the do.
Shame on this CEO he really needs to go.
My thoughts are for the unfortunate staff at LHR and around the world today having to face the angry and disgruntled passengers affected by this decision.29 Oct 2011
CXDiamond, I think the difference between this and the BA dispute is that the BA action was by one workgroup whereas Qantas is facing action by multiple workgroups. Also, UK industrial relations law seems to be quite different to Australia. In the UK, the law is very strict on the process for any industrial action (eg 7 days’ notice must be given) so it’s easier for management to plan and respond accordingly.
Whilst I have no time for union militancy (and fully support professional business focused representation of employees) from what I have seen of this dispute some of the language of Qantas management seems to have been ill considered (ie describing Qantas International as slowly dying) and little effort seems to have been made to sell the need for change to employees.29 Oct 2011
QF managers have been trying to take the workforce along for more than long enough. QF domestic is profitable, QF international is not and is slowly bankrupting the company.
When any group of employees be it a single part of the workforce or a number of parts can disrupt and ground an airline then it is time for firm and decisive action. Joyce has done the right thing. FWIW, I’ve met him, he’s not the best of CEOs but he does have a vision for QF which gives them a great future. If I know that then I don’t believe the workforce don’t regardless of what they say. The job of managers is to manage after due consultation which has happened at QF.29 Oct 2011
Qantas seems to be the opposite of most airlines, whose long haul operations are profitable, but short haul are unprofitable and largely act as feeder flights. However Australia is a large country and QF does face a lot of superior but lower cost Asian competition.29 Oct 2011
What has really irked Qantas workforce is Alan Joyce feathering his own nest whilst everyone else takes a hit. Similar to Walsh at BA, his salary his pay has soared whilst shareholders go without dividends and incur share value drops, the employees are seeing their jobs move abroad and packages cut.
Another fat cat caught in the ever increasing trough similar to the UK which has seen board packages increase by 50% in an economic downturn.
The disputes with unions representing pilots, ground staff and engineers – over pay and costs cuts – have been ongoing for most of this year and have sparked a series of strikes since the summer.
Alan Joyce, chief executive, said the disputes had so far cost Qantas A$68m and that the strikes themselves were now costing the airline A$15m in lost sales every week – a situation he called “unsustainable”.29 Oct 2011
I’m sure CXDiamond wouldn’t be so forgiving if she was currently stranded in a terminal at one of the third world destinations Qantas serve.
Typical knee-jerk reaction of a Daily Mail reader sat at home with her feet up.29 Oct 2011
HonestCrew thank you for your comments. I’m actually in Hong Kong working, I don’t read the Daily Mail and never have. Perhaps you’re sat at home with your feet up enjoying the unrealistically generous terms and conditions of employment that allow time off that is not matched by any other UK employer.
Of course I’m sorry for the people caught in the situation caused by the Qantas trade unions but it is they who are to blame and no one else. Managers have to manage and employees need to realise that. Had I been in charge at Qantas I would have taken these steps weeks ago and at BA years ago.29 Oct 2011
We need the time off to get away from pseudo-intellectual types who just because they know how to clear security without being asked to remove their belts, believe they know how to run an airline and somehow have knowledge of terms and conditions of EVERY company in the UK.
Now, where are my slippers?29 Oct 2011
Then if I were your passenger you’d be able to do with less time off as I have run an airline. It’s no different to any other company really, you need to make a profit to survive and in order to do so you need to contain your costs, the principal one of which is labour while also being the most unreliable.29 Oct 2011
CXDiamond – it is essential in such a people centric business that one maintains morale and motivates people. Alan Joyce has behaved in an exceptionally crass way again which will only alienate his workforce.
He is coupling an unproved strategy with appalling execution. For too long shareholders and employees have paid substantially over the odds for substandard leadership promise as opposed to bottom line results.29 Oct 2011