TWU plays games with families over school holidays
Sydney, 06 October 2011
The Transport Workers Union’s cynical tactic to withdraw strike action late this afternoon has come too late, with 5,700 Qantas passengers still facing lengthy delays and cancellations tomorrow afternoon.
Qantas has already published the new schedule including 17 cancelled flights and 29 delayed flights. Customers have already being contacted alerting them to changes to their flights, planes have been changed and re-positioned and employees including pilots and cabin crew have been redeployed. We have also notified Air Traffic Control of the new schedule.
The Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association will continue its rolling one-hour stoppages, which will mean further disruptions at Melbourne Airport tomorrow afternoon.
Qantas Group Executive Government and Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth said the union was intent on causing severe disruptions to families who were returning from school holidays.
“We apologise to all of our customers who still face delays tomorrow because of games from the union. We would like to re-instate services but it’s just too late. You can’t just turn an airline on and off,” Ms Wirth said.
“The Transport Workers Union has waited until less than 24 hours before the planned strike to call it off so that passengers are still disrupted, the Qantas business been damaged but their members don’t lose any money from going on strike.
“We would like to thank our employees who have put pressure on the union all week to cancel the strike because they didn’t want to disrupt our passengers any further.
“We hope this signals the end of strike action and will see the union return to the negotiating table.”
Ms Wirth said despite negotiations being underway on a new enterprise bargaining agreement for months, Qantas had been unable to reach an agreement with the Transport Workers Union.
“The TWU’s claim for 15 per cent pay increase over the next three years is just not sustainable in the current economic environment – and given Qantas workers are already the best-paid in the industry.
“The TWU is also trying to place restrictions on Qantas which would remove our flexibility to scale up or scale down our workforce in line with busy and quiet periods.
“The TWU has negotiated a new deal with Virgin which is 12 per cent lower than Qantas rates and includes a wage freeze and a lower pay scale for new starters. This gives Virgin a competitive advantage over Qantas.”
Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (5199)