Unions to strike over QANTAS cuts?


From The Australian:

A MAJOR union is threatening strike action after Qantas announced it will axe 5000 jobs over three years.

Unions also took aim at the performance of Qantas management after chief executive Alan Joyce declared today’s $252 million first half underlying loss “unacceptable’’ and announced a major restructuring of the national carrier.

Unions will tomorrow meet Qantas management over the job cuts, which include 1500 management and non-operational roles and a swathe of jobs in aircraft maintenance.

But Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon warned Qantas could face industrial action.

He called on the Abbott government to meet with the airline to find ways of avoiding the job cuts.

“But if (Treasurer) Joe Hockey’s not prepared to do that, then it’s industrial action that the workforce should be considering,’’ Mr Sheldon told reporters in Sydney.

“We have the right to withdraw our labour.’’

The Abbott Government appears to have been looking for a corporate stalking horse to help accelerate its anti-union agenda and it may just have found one.

18 Responses to “ “Unions to strike over QANTAS cuts?”

  1. AngryMan says:

    Are we thinking this is a deliberately manufactured situation to allow abbot to run his anti union agenda or is he just taking advantage ?

  2. Budreika says:

    Unions are short-sighted, narrow-minded parasites, happy to suck the country dry without ever looking at the bigger picture.

    • General Disarray says:

      For a second I thought you were talking about the Qantas management team.

    • Ronin8317 says:

      PlaneTalking today reported on how Qantas management intends to treat their Perth -> Singapore customers when they cancel the route in May.


      Would someone who is forced to take the 12-13 hour detour from Perth ever fly Qantas again? Unions are not the only short-sighted, narrow-minded parasites.

      • matt0t3 says:

        Don’t worry, they’ll give you a ticket on a direct Jetstar flight (LOL!). Or a full refund. So really, nobody’s being “forced” to detour via the east coast.

        Me, I’d take the refund and book with Singapore Airlines. Most business travelers that do serious international travel left One World for Star Alliance a long time ago. Star Alliance beats the pants off of One World in Asia (Singapore, Thai) and North America (United, US, Air Canada).

        Cancelling the Qantas-branded Perth->Singapore flight is probably a good business decision as the mining investment boom winds down. There will be greatly reduced business traffic, and Bogans on vacation prefer Jetstar.

    • Mik says:


      walking a thin line comes to mind.

    • evilsync says:

      Nice joke Budreika. Lol.

      As an engineer, I wish we had a proper union. :(

  3. Jordan@ABC says:

    I appreciate the situation is complex and nuanced, but i think this line says a lot.

    “We have the right to withdraw our labour.’’


    does the Union actually own the workers. I thought it was a body that was meant to represent them, not make demands of them to walk off a job

    I can appreciate there’d be a lot of justifiably upset workers today, but a strike will do nothing to help the situation.

    Sad day for Aussie economy, and as usual, all sides dig even deeper into their positions, making progress even more unlikely

    • rob barratt says:

      You misunderstand Jordan
      The unions own the Qantas workers in the same way they own the Toyota workers. It is not for the workers to negotiate with the managers of their own enterprise, they have to do it through a third party. That’s what the Fair Work Act was designed to facilitate. The fact that you have to sacrifice your job for the greater (the union corporation’s) good is neither here nor there. I’m sure any Qantas workers who will lose their jobs as a result of this strike would strongly agree.
      Oh, and if you see a convoy of bikies heading your way, run.

  4. 3d1k says:

    Qantas unions must want to expedite the end…perhaps they should have a timely word with Bill Shorten and plead for a change of stance re the Qantas Sales Act.

    • fewlish says:

      At least it will enable the buildings to be chained up neatly without the worry of leaving someone inside I suppose.

  5. speculator says:

    Air New Zealand, government owned full service airline with unionised workers, etc. posted 40% profit growth

    Qantas issues are management issues and not only that unions should strike but shareholders should join them.

  6. evilsync says:

    So much anti-union rhetoric.

    Sounds like many have swallowed everything the liberals have fed them.

    Now that you’ve deep throated, it will soon be time to bend over!