Tough Decisions ahead for Qantas

Qantas has come out swinging about what it says are “unsubstantiated rumours” about its intentions.

“There are a series of unsubstantiated and unsourced rumours swirling around ahead of our half year results, ranging from estimates on job losses to route changes,” a Qantas spokesman said.

“The facts are that Qantas has flagged the need to make tough decisions as part of strengthening our business, which we will outline next Thursday. For our customers, this won’t change our focus on being one of the world’s best airlines.”

On the specific rumour that Qantas is looking to reduce its services to London, this is inaccurate, Qantas said.

In December, Qantas flagged job cuts of at least 1,000 over the next 12 months in the face of unprecedented pressures in both domestic and international markets.

“We have also announced plans to cut $2 billion of costs from our business over the next three years, and will provide more detail on this at our half year results.”

TWU wants more info

Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon has called on Qantas to come clean on its plans for restructuring, after more reports of upcoming mass sackings and the sale of planes and terminals

“Another day, another rumour of massive job cuts and the sale of planes and terminals,” Mr Sheldon said.

“These sackings would affect workers in profitable arms of the airline – Qantas international and domestic.

“Each baggage handler, check-in staff and ramp worker generates a $205,000 return to Qantas above the cost of their employment.

“Sacking them is like a tradesman selling his tools to pay a one-off bill.

“If Qantas needs to make savings it should stop siphoning funds to the failing Jetstar Asia, and return those proceeds to Qantas International and Domestic here in Australia.”

Mr Sheldon said the Qantas CEO was pandering to Liberal prejudices with promises of industrial war through ‘IR reforms’ and further outsourcing of Australian jobs.

“What sort of Federal Government is this, that offers funding to companies only if they cut jobs and lower family incomes?” Mr Sheldon said.

“Qantas executive salaries have risen 82% since 2010. Yet the share price has fallen to its lowest point in 20 years.

“No Qantas Group dividends are being paid and in 2013 Qantas shares were downgraded to ‘junk’ status.

“Qantas has a poor management record for an airline with a 65% domestic market share and no losses prior to the current Board strategy.

“This airline does not need industrial warfare or more global shutdowns. It needs a management who put the health of the airline first.”

A 2012 survey of aviation staff found Qantas rated among the worst for job satisfaction, chances of improvement or communication with staff.

While proud of their professionalism and the company they work for, less than half of Qantas workers (45%) say they would currently recommend it as an employer.


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