Ordered To Resume Flights After Shutting Down Operations
By Daniel Baxter
October 31, 2011 - On Saturday, Australia’s largest
airline, Qantas Airways also known as "The Flying
Kangaroo", shut down its flight operations indefinitely
and locked out all union workers in an effort to shut
down its unions.
All flights were canceled except flights that were
already in the air. Aircraft that were taxing out for
takeoff were called back to there gates. Qantas Airways
chief executive Alan Joyce said the unions' actions have
caused a crisis for Qantas, "they are deliberately
destabilizing the company and there is no end in sight."
Joyce stated that all 108 aircraft will remain grounded
until the unions representing pilots, mechanics, baggage
handlers and caterers reach agreements with Qantas over
pay and conditions.
Australia’s government called an emergency arbitration court
hearing on Saturday night to rule on Qantas’ shut down and to
look at strike actions by its unions. Anthony Albanese,
Australia’s Transport Minister stated he was disappointed in
Qantas’ actions he described it as "disappointing" and
"extraordinary" he was also upset that Qantas only gave him a
three hour notice of the shut down.
Barry Jackson, President of Australian and International Pilots
Association said “following Qantas management’s unprecedented
and unilateral decision to ground its fleet on Saturday there
have been several erroneous reports both in the media and
directly from management that we would like to clarify.
Industrial action by AIPA pilots has not cost the company a
single cent in revenue. Industrial action by AIPA has not
delayed a single passenger or grounded a single flight.
entire public industrial action over the past 4 months has been
to make positive in-flight announcements and to wear red ties
with our campaign message on them. For Qantas management to
respond to these reasonable and non-disruptive actions in this
way is more than a gross over-reaction.
“It is a sign that the current management has lost touch with the travelling public, its workers and the basic Australian ethos of free speech. We are hoping for a positive outcome from today’s talks and will provide updates as soon as we can. In the meantime we’d like to thank all of you who have expressed support for our pilots. Your kind words have been much appreciated.
Speaking at Sydney
Airport on Sunday, AIPA Vice President Captain Richard Woodward said the
decision to strand thousands of Qantas passengers was clearly
pre-meditated to take place the day after Joyce’s $2 million pay rise
“Pilots have made
it clear from the start that we would not take industrial action that
disrupts passengers. We have stuck to that to this day. Alan Joyce on
the other hand has opted to disrupt passengers in the most devastating
way possible. Pilots have not been on strike and we are not seeking
anything that would damage profitability. Pilots do not want to work low
hours, nor are they seeking extra pay.
striking an eminently achievable deal with his pilots, he has chosen to
act out his tough guy fantasies on Qantas passengers. It’s deplorable.
We totally support Senator Nick Xenophon’s call for a Royal Commission.
Australians have every right to find out what has happened here.
On Sunday, by mid
day An independent tribunal in Australia, Fair Work Australia ordered
Qantas’s to resume all flights after hearing evidence from the airline,
unions and government at an emergency session in Melbourne.
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