Sun, Oct 30, 2011
Qantas Blames Industrial Action For Decision To Hit The
Labor actions by three different unions are being blamed for the
fleetwide grounding of a major international airline. The
management of Qantas has announced that "as of 2000 AEDT on Monday
31 October 2011, it will lock out all employees who are covered by
the industrial agreements currently being negotiated with the
Australian Licensed Engineers Union (ALAEA), the Transport Workers
Union (TWU) and the Australian and International Pilots Union
This step is being taken under the provisions of the Fair Work
Act in response to industrial action taken by these unions. The
financial impact of action taken to date has reached $68 million
and the action is costing Qantas approximately $15 million per week
in lost revenue. Approximately 70,000 passengers have been affected
and more than 600 flights cancelled. Pilots, licensed engineers and
baggage, ground and catering staff are essential to Qantas
operations and the lock-out will therefore make it necessary for
all Qantas aircraft to be grounded."
The airline noted that 'for precautionary reasons' the action
was instigated as of 1700 AEDT, Saturday 29 October 2011. Aircraft
then inflight were allowed to complete the sectors one their
schedule , but emphasized that there would "be no further Qantas
domestic departures or international departures anywhere in the
world. This will have an estimated financial impact on Qantas of
$20 million per day."
Qantas stated that the lock-out would continue until the ALAEA,
the TWU and AIPA drop the 'extreme demands that have made it
impossible for agreements to be reached.'
The labor problems did not extend to Jetstar flights, QantasLink
flights and Qantas flights across the Tasman operated by Jetconnect
-- and those flights were still scheduled to continue. Express
Freighters Australia and Atlas Freighters were also continued.
Qantas also announced that employees were required to remain at
work until the lockout commenced and that they would be paid for
However; after the start of the lockout:
- employees who are locked out will not be required at work and
will not be paid.
- employees working overseas will not be locked out and will
continue to be paid.
- all other employees are required at work and will be paid as
The airline has asked that customers booked on Qantas flights
NOT go to the airport until further notice and that full refunds
will be available to any customer who chooses to cancel their
flight because it has been directly affected by the grounding of
the fleet. Full rebooking flexibility will be available to
customers who wish to defer their travel. Assistance with
accommodation and alternative flights, as well as other support,
will be offered to customers who are mid-journey.
Qantas also stated that they "regret(ed) that this action has
become necessary and apologizes sincerely to all affected
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