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Den's Journal

Stories by a short, fat bastard

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On Saturday Qantas grounded every single plane in its fleet: domestic and international. CEO Alan Joyce cited unreasonable demands from Unions forced Qantas into this action.

On Friday, Joyce asked shareholders at Qantas’ annual general meeting to give him a pay rise of 71 per cent, from under $3 million a year to about $5 million. They did. The next day, he shut down their company entirely, because of the "extreme demands" of workers. First prize, Alan. Believe.

Where unions have to give 72 hours notice of any action, Joyce gave zero hours. He stranded 68,000 people worldwide, upended the plans of tens of thousands more, and lost an unquantifiable number of future bookings.

And why? To force an advantage in an industrial dispute that was nowhere near crisis point. To stand on a milk crate in a pissing contest.
" The Punch.

The engineer's union wants a 13 pay rise over the next 4 years. Baggage handler's union wants some better conditions. The Qantas pilot's union wants only Qantas-trained pilots flying Qantas badged planes, instead of cheaper foreign-trained pilots from China and South America. These are the extreme demands.

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We've got a word for that here in the US...

... and it's called a 'dick move'. Stay classy, Mr. Joyce.

Doesn't Qantas have enough going against them without pulling stunts like this?

this is exactly what Alan Joyce wants ... for Austrlains and the world to hate Qantas - they want to kill the airline, for it to go out of business

so they can start all over again - offshore without unions without austrlian oversight, without all the hassles of being a 1st world legacy airline

Would they even bother to start over? If Qantas goes down, the US airlines will take whatever market share Emirates and Cathay Pacific don't grab first.

Corporate evil at its very best. Trying to walk up to Wal-Mart's standards, I see.

his payrise is obscene and the most stupid timing ever.

However, the TWU (Transport Workers Union for those that are not familiar) has been running rolling strikes for many years now, and no-one can say they are underpaid compared to other industries. The unions HAVE been unreasonable, and I think this was the only way it could have gone down. QANTAS will die a death of a thousand papercuts if the TWU isn't reigned in. This way the government was forced to intervene.

I firmly believe both parties (QANTAS and the TWU, not the political parties lol) are equally to blame for this debacle.

There was a time where we needed unions. We have them to thank for our 38hr 5 day week. But our laws, checks and balances are reasonable in this country, and we almost - almost - didn't need unions anymore. But it's the big angry unreasonable ones like the TWU and MWU that cause more harm than good.

You can thank the unions for saving The Rocks from being developed, and much of the parklands around Sydney.

TWU is certainly unreasonable, but they could be negociated with. Qantas went straight to "Last Resort" as their first option.

But Joyce's pay rise, That's what people really should be angry about.

Did he, by any chance, get his business degree in the United States?

Ireland, actually. I think he watched Wall Street too many times.

This is our fault. No, really! The anti-union nuck-futtery that's been going on over here in Jesusland has been spreading all over the place, and now your CEOs have been infected.

There's nothing for it, mate? He's gone asshole. Put him down now, before he REALLY buggers things up.

Indeed ... how dare he do as he wills with his own property?

By the way, who decides for you what you do with your own property?

If the answer is "yourself," then the answer for him is himself.

And if he isn't free, with all his wealth, then what makes you think that your freedom is secure?

You're missing the key point.

This is his airline. If he wants to sell it or shut it down, that's his decision. That's the meaning of "private property."

Now, why did he do it? Because his employees were already among the best-paid in the world for their lines of work: if he'd raised their salaries any further, the airline would no longer have been particularly profitable. He offered them alternatives; they rejected them -- so he took his toys and went home. Too bad for the neighbor kids, eh?

It's not his company. It's a public company. He is just the CEO with a share option. This isn't Ryanair or Easyjet.

His method of discussion is to shut down the company with no warning. After he votes in his pay rise, of course. At no time did Union action stop Qantas from operating. It was Qantas' own actions in September that caused problems when they locked out the workers who showed up to work on strike-day. No union action was scheduled before Christmas - this entire shut down is entirely due to Qantas' actions.

Joyce was the chief of planning for Aer Lingus, which almost collapsed through crap service and poor maintenance. Then he was CEO of Ansett, which was the largest domestic airline until cost cutting caused dangerously poor maintenance, poor service, and such poor customer satisfaction that the company went bankrupt. Now he is the CEO of Qantas. Just FYI.

(Edited to remove an unnecessary attack.)

Edited at 2011-10-31 08:05 am (UTC)

This is all part of the plan to get around the Qantas Sale Act.

Push everything over to JQ foreign offshoots and kill the Qantas brand entirely.

Trashing the Qantas brand like this only helps that end goal.

Yes, Artyem and I have been following this with some interest.

Something I do wonder whenever folk start with the "you've got to offer top pay to get top execs to run stuff" theory - how come that same logic never seems to be applied to the staff who actually do the work, as well? What's sauce for the goose, and all that. But in reality, it tends to play out more like top pay for the half-a-dozen people at the top, and how-much-cost-cutting-can-we-manage for everyone else. Isn't it funny how while exec salaries go up and up, pay and conditions for everyone else just get crappier and crappier.

Hypocrisy - it's what's for dinner.

The Qantas employees already get a pretty good wage and I don't think they needed the increase the union asked for - it was open for negotiation. The Qantas board's negotiation was to vote themselves a 70% increase, tell the Unions "No!" and to shut down the company.

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