Following yesterdays announcement Matt Murphy, ETU National Industrial Officer today met with senior Qantas management - his report back from the meeting is below.
the main points arising out of todays meeting are as follows:
Management will not negotiate on the 5000 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) job losses, which actually means more than 5000 people when casual, part-time and job share positions are considered;
Management will proceed to attempt a wage freeze by putting a variation to our current agreement to a vote of employees;
Even if employees vote to accept a wage freeze management will still proceed with shedding 5000 FTE jobs;
The cuts to LMO, especially in Sydney, are in addition to, and not part of, the 5000, and;
There are no further indications as to where the 5000 FTE will come from.
Basically, Qantas management, meaning the CEO and board, are trying to split Qantas up and are fully committed to obtaining changes to the foreign ownership provisions of the Qantas Sale Act.
If they are successful with changes to the act, they will, as soon as possible, offshore the overwhelming majority of their aircraft and component maintenance.
I also need to say to you that the CEO and Board are among the very worst employers in this country. Hard line right-wing and in lock step with the current conservative government.
It's also worth mentioning, however, that pound for pound, the Virgin loss of $84M is worse than the QF result.
The ETU, AMWU and AWU, along with the ACTU will fight for every single job by continuing to hold Qantas management responsible and I have, as early as yesterday, told Qantas that we will not entertain a wages freeze, at all. The CEO and Board seem determined to destroy Qantas as we know it.
It's very apparent to me that a line has been crossed here; we are, potentially, at the beginning of a massive confrontation. As I said yesterday on the ABC, once these jobs and skills are gone, they will never come back; they are gone forever. I can only hope that all the Unions, under the umbrella of the ACTU, stick together and fight this. Your Union, the ETU certainly will.
We have some options, including legal action to enforce the provisions of our EBA, and more importantly, campaigning on the ground; this will evolve over the next couple of weeks in discussions with you and members of the other Alliance Unions and the ACTU.
We are again meeting with management next Tuesday, after the LMO Consultation.
It is clear to me that it is extremely important for Qantas workers to be part of their union, now more than ever. If you are not a member of your union I suggest you take action to protect yourself and your job and the best way to do this is by joining your union. If you work in an area covered by the ETU you can Join Online.
If you have any questions or feedback, please ring me on the mobile at any time.
ETU National Industrial Officer