Qantas has taken an unprecedented step to ground all domestic and international services Qantas CEO Alan
Joyce has made the below media statement the full transcript of which is
The action by Qantas to ground its
entire fleet is estimated to affect 13,305 passengers and should the action be
extended it this figure will obviously increase significantly.
ANNOUNCEMENT ALAN JOYCE, QANTAS CEO 29 OCTOBER 2011
crisis is unfolding within Qantas.
action directed by the leadership of three unions – the Australian Licenced Aircraft
Engineers Association (ALAEA)
representing the licensed engineers, the Transport Workers Union (TWU) representing ramp, baggage and catering staff, and the Australian and International Pilots
Association (AIPA) representing the long-haul pilots
– is aimed at applying so much pressure on Qantas, so much pressure on our customers,
and so much pressure on Australian business, that we will give in to their
15 months Qantas has reached agreement with more than 10,000 employees
represented by four unions on five Enterprise Agreements – or one-third of the
the same period we have been doing all we can to reach agreement with the ALAEA
and AIPA and more recently with the TWU. What makes these union negotiations
different? Two things.
these three unions are sticking by impossible claims that are not just to do
with pay, but also to do with unions trying to dictate how we run our business.
pilots’ union wants to force us to pay Jetstar pilots on codeshare flights the
same high rates that they get at Qantas.
would set a wages precedent that would soon put an end to Jetstar and slash low-cost
travel in Australia.
only alternative would be to remove Qantas codesharing from Jetstar which would
have the effect of making some key Qantas routes uneconomic.
licensed engineers want to bind Qantas maintenance to the past; to thumb their
nose at world’s best-practice regulations, including those endorsed by Australia’s
Civil Aviation Safety Authority; and continue with outdated work practices on
new generation aircraft.
TWU was offered an exceptional deal but is sticking to its completely
unrealistic claim that would prevent us from the sensible use of contractors.
are impossible demands.
cannot agree to them because they could ultimately put the Qantas Group at
second thing that makes these unions different is that they are running utterly
destructive industrial campaigns against Qantas and our customers, hurting all
our employees and undermining Australian business.
situation is unsustainable.
- 70,000 affected passengers
- Over 600 flights cancelled
- 7 grounded aircraft
- Nearly $70 million in damage
- And $15 million in damage for every week that goes by.
unions’ industrial campaigns are designed to scare away customers.
has become impossible for Qantas to serve our third-party maintenance
are trashing our strategy and our brand.
are deliberately destabilising the company.
there is no end in sight.
two unions declared their intention to escalate industrial action further and
over an extended period.
one said earlier they want: “to bake Qantas slowly”.
pilots’ union has also said they are considering escalating their industrial
talk about job security, but the unions are on a path that would diminish the
job security of their own members.
are now fleeing from us.
high value domestic bookings on east coast routes are down by 25% on the same
period last year.
the most lucrative part of our flying business and it is bleeding badly.
International bookings have also fallen, with
November bookings nearly 10% down on where we expected them to be – when Qantas
International is already making significant losses.
customer research shows an alarming increase in people who intend NOT to fly
our domestic business that number has surged from a normal 5% to 20%.
intention not to fly with Qantas internationally has surged to nearly 30%.
Australia is the main beneficiary of this campaign and has announced capacity
great irony is that it pays less, is less unionised and does its heavy maintenance
there is no union pressure on Virgin.
is a crisis for Qantas.
this action continues as the unions have promised, we will have no choice but
to close down Qantas part by part.
goes without saying that this would have very grave consequences for jobs.
Qantas slowly would be a tragedy for Qantas and our employees.
it would also have a terrible domino effect right across Australia,
affecting businesses large and small, tourism, freight and families.
have got to achieve a resolution to this crisis.
have got to bring this to an end.
I have no option but to force the issue.
have to activate the one form of protected industrial action that is available
to me to bring home to the unions the seriousness of their actions, and to get
them to forge sensible deals with us.
am using the only effective avenue at my disposal to bring about peace and
response to the unions’ industrial action, I announce that under the provisions
of the Fair Work Act Qantas will lock out all those employees who will be
covered by the agreements currently being negotiated with the ALAEA, the TWU and AIPA.
I have informed the Government of this.
exception to this is that no employee working overseas will
be locked out and all staff overseas will continue to be paid.
will commence from 8pm on Monday night Sydney
local time and will continue until further notice.
the pilots, ramp, baggage and catering staff and licensed engineers are
essential to the running of the airline, the lock-out makes it necessary for us
to ground the fleet.
I cannot wait until Monday to do so.
is a very tense environment.
reactions to this lock-out decision may be unpredictable.
are always conservative in our approach.
this reason, as a precautionary measure, we have decided to ground the Qantas
international and domestic fleet immediately.
repeat, we are grounding the Qantas fleet now.
those flights that are currently in the air will complete their scheduled sectors.
as from now there will be no further Qantas domestic or international
departures anywhere in the world.
and QantasLink will continue to operate.
Freighters Australia and Atlas Freighters will continue flying.
will also continue to operate Qantas services across the Tasman.
are locking out until the unions withdraw their extreme claims and reach an
agreement with us.
great majority of our staff have played no part in this damaging industrial
the contrary they have stepped up magnificently to try and minimise the
the lock-out commences at 8pm on Monday, all employees are required at work and
will be paid.
the lock-out commences:
those employees who are locked out will not be required at work and will not be
All other employees are required at work and will be paid.
will be talking to those employees, their managers and their union
representatives about how we best manage the impacts of this situation.
urge the members of the ALAEA, TWU and AIPA to consider their own interests and
tell their leaders they want to reach reasonable and fair agreements that will
be good for them and for Qantas.
want to say how sorry I am that this course of action has become
will be doing all we can to care for our customers.
those who are mid-journey, we will assist with accommodation and endeavour to
help with alternate flights, and any other support we are able to give.
will provide a full refund to any customer who chooses to cancel their trip
because their flight has been directly affected by the grounding of our fleet,
and extend full rebooking flexibility for anyone wishing to defer their travel.
customer service staff will have my full support to assist our customers in any
way they can.
will have continuous updates on qantas.com and that will be the best source of
will also be using our Facebook and twitter feeds to keep customers
course of action has been forced upon us by the extreme and damaging course
chosen by the leaders of three unions.
is now over to them.
ball is in their court.
must decide just how badly they want to hurt Qantas, their members, our other employees,
and the travelling public of Australia
in pursuit of their destructive aims.