View Full Version : Qantas to Reduce Staff

9th Apr 2003, 08:58
Issued by Qantas Public Affairs (2905)
Email: [email protected]

Qantas to Reduce Staff
SYDNEY, 9 April 2003

Qantas Airways said today it would make 1,000 employees redundant between now and 30 June as it responds to lower passenger numbers flowing from the war in Iraq, the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and general economic conditions.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer Geoff Dixon said the redundancies were part of an ongoing restructuring program the company was undertaking in response to the changing aviation market.

"We regret the need for this action. However, it is vital we move quickly to protect our position in a very competitive and difficult industry," he said.

"Qantas is one of the more successful airlines in the world today. We will only remain so by ensuring our labour and capital expenditure base matches current market activity."

Mr Dixon said the restructuring program would involve 1,700 positions and include:

* 1,000 redundancies;
* 400 permanent positions being eliminated through attrition by 30 June; and
* 300 permanent positions being converted from full-time to part-time.

The reductions will affect nine per cent of management and five per cent of wage and salary employees.

"We are very conscious of the effect these decisions have on the individuals involved and their families," Mr Dixon said. "There will be extensive consultation and we have in place professional services for all those affected."

As part of the restructuring program, Mr Dixon said Qantas would also:

* extend the accelerated leave program, which has seen the equivalent of 2,500 people take leave between March and 30 June, to include the equivalent of 1,000 employees on leave between July and September; and
* make further ad hoc changes to flying schedules until conditions show improvement.

Mr Dixon said Qantas announced on 28 March that it would reduce planned international flying by around 20 per cent between April and mid-July.

"We are also continuing to closely monitor all discretionary and capital expenditure," he said.

Mr Dixon said the global aviation industry had shed over 400,000 jobs between September 2001 and the beginning of the war in Iraq. In addition, airlines had announced plans to cut tens of thousands of more jobs since the outbreak of the war and SARS.

"The global aviation industry is under severe strain," Mr Dixon said.

"Our aim is to protect the jobs of the vast majority of Qantas employees, to ensure we continue to meet the needs of our many shareholders and to position ourselves for the inevitable recovery.

"However, we cannot rule out further restructuring, including redundancies."

Qantas currently employs about 35,000 staff. The Qantas group has increased staff numbers by more than 2,000 since September 2001.

Issued by Qantas Public Affairs (2905)
Email: [email protected]

ABC News Online

Last Update: Wednesday, April 9, 2003. 10:38am (AEST)

War, SARS claim 1,400 Qantas jobs

Qantas is cutting 1,400 jobs as the war in Iraq and the SARS virus hit passenger numbers.

In a statement issued today, the airline announced plans to retench 1,000 staff and eliminate another 400 positions through attrition.

The airline also plans to convert 300 full-time roles into part-time jobs.

Chief executive Geoff Dixon says he regrets the need for the cuts but the airline needs to shed the staff to stay competitive.

The union representing airline staff says it is hypocritical for Qantas to sack more than 1,000 staff when it is still likely to post a profit this year.

Australian Services Union spokeswoman Linda White says Qantas has its priorities wrong.

"The true measure of how difficult things are is going to be whether or not they pursue their purchase of Air New Zealand," Ms White said.

"Frankly, it would seem to us making 1,000 Australians redundant is a fairly significant move when they're talking about multi-million dollars on a purchase of a share in Air New Zealand."

Qantas has not ruled out further reductions.

9th Apr 2003, 16:43
the messed up thing is, after being told by Dixon to take leave, i applied for 1 month off!

REJECTED! ( and no one else in my section is off either)

Hugh Jarse
9th Apr 2003, 18:17
Dunno which century Dixon is in (or which planet he is on), but I would have thought that tightening the belt on expenditure would be the first priority for reducing costs, and retrenching staff a last resort (which seems to be the norm in the real world).

Strong did not have "morale" in his vocabulary even when he was at TN. Dixon doesn't appear to, either.

He will reap what he sows. Even a dog knows what loyalty is about.

Kick the dog enough times (as Dixon has), and it'll eventually get the message.

Just make sure you keep your fingers out of the way, Geoff when the dog turns around and bites you :yuk:

All 35000 of them.

I think you might have got it back-to-front this time Geoff.

9th Apr 2003, 18:57
I heard from a catering guy that the "management" decided that too much produce was being ordered for QFCL and too far in advance.

The end result was they ran out of lettuce and tomatoes so put cabbage and sun-dried toms at $44 a kilo in the salads.

Since its a management stuff up it just slides on by I suppose. Nothing a few more sackings can't cover!

9th Apr 2003, 22:03
Sadly starting to sound a lot like Ansett in a lot of ways, when they did make people redudant some of the better and more skilled people were the ones that left, leaving a lot of dead wood instead of the other way around, left some areas with no experience level which lead at times to mistakes like the ones bonvol explains.....also redundancy packages for people with 20 + years experience don't come cheap to the company either.....

The slide when it happens is pretty quick, AN went from making $150 million profit after tax in 98/99 to not existing a few years later.......lets hope QF learns from the AN experience and does it better. A few thousand people are depending on it!

10th Apr 2003, 08:06
So, does anyone know if pilots are included - and if so how many?

I guess there ends the pilot recruiting spree!

10th Apr 2003, 08:16
Judging by the promotional slots just advertised I don't think we'll be retrenching any. That doesn't mean that recruitment will not slow/stop for the time being though. Did run into one of the interviewers the other day who is still scheduled to be conducting interviews in a couple of weeks time so they are still 'processing' pilot applications at least!

Jimmy Pop
10th Apr 2003, 09:54
SMH 10/4/03

Qantas expects the world's aviation market to remain depressed, a view it confirmed yesterday with the announcement that it would cull up to 1700 full-time jobs by June 30.

The chief executive, Geoff Dixon, said the airline had suffered a decline in passenger numbers because of the war in Iraq, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and general economic conditions.

The announcement follows expectations raised last month that the airline would seek heavy retrenchments to secure its

Under a restructuring program, Qantas will make 1000 employees redundant, eliminate 400 permanent posts through attrition and convert 300 full-time positions to part-time.

Job cuts will go right across the company, including pilots, cabin crew, baggage handlers and staff in administration, check-in areas, sales, marketing and catering. About 9 per cent of jobs lost will come from management.



Mr Dixon said he would seek expressions of interest over the next two to three weeks from employees willing to accept redundancies, but the airline would target people if job loss targets were not reached in specific areas.

"What we're doing is very modest, moderate, in terms of what the industry is facing," he said.

Qantas estimates that redundancies will cost about $60 million. It does not plan further cuts among the remaining 34,000 staff at this stage.

When it announced its $350 million after-tax profit last month, the airline foreshadowed yesterday's announcement as a strong possibility in addition to a program already in place to force up to 2500 of its full-time workers to take accumulated leave.

The Australian Services Union expressed cynicism at the latest round of job losses after various statements about the airline's employment levels over the past 12 months. In January last year it was reported in the Herald that only 400 of 2000 previously announced job losses actually went ahead.

The ASU's assistant national secretary, Linda White, said: "How many times has Qantas announced it is going to cut jobs and then increased them?

"I believe that SARS and the war are just a cover for making people redundant when it is not clear what impact they are having. This is about the second or third time they have announced it and SARS is only a recent phenomenon."

Ms White also cast doubt on whether Qantas had exhausted its enforced leave program.

She alleged that members of staff at Sydney Airport Terminal had only recently been advised to take their accumulated leave.

Mr Dixon confirmed that Qantas had employed an extra 2000 staff since September 2001, but said cuts were needed now to protect the positions of 34,000 who would remain.

He said that the airline planned to send back three leased aircraft, representing 4per cent of capacity, following a recent fall in bookings.

The latest restructuring program would not affect plans to spend $500 million in a merger with Air New Zealand.

The Opposition transport spokesman, Martin Ferguson, urged the Government to adopt a "survival package" to cope with the market downturn. He said the Government should immediately cease "unnecessary taxes" such as the Ansett ticket tax and should rule out any increase to the passenger movement charge.

The sharemarket reacted coolly to the jobs announcement. The Qantas share price dropped 13c to $3.07.

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
10th Apr 2003, 11:38
1. When the war ends, the disease is contained the pax pickup again, and they make MORE profit are they gonna spread the profit round and will the 'retrenched' get their jobs back?

2. Are any of the corporate staff gonna get the flick or reduction in pay, after all, they always seem to steer the company into some pretty rocky financial waters (there's always some threat to the profitability!) and need to jettison staff in order to keep the ship afloat!

As usual, no one will do anything to help anyone else to protect their jobs - I'm alright Jack (and too paranoid about getting the sack to do anything to help).

Ah, it took a few years, but workers rights etc, just about down the drainpipe.

The free-market economy - gotta love it (if you can get into the corporate end of things!)

10th Apr 2003, 11:38
in reference to another relevant topic , ^ Promotion on the -400.
The more insecure i feel with QF ,
the more stripes I like to see on my shoulder, and Jet endorsements/experience in my logbook!!
Don't know how AN 747 S/Os have faired in the Airline pilot market..
I know the company (GA) i worked for pre-QF wouldnt hire AN S/Os with no other experience to fly cessnas..402/404, after the collapse.

10th Apr 2003, 13:24
BLO MOI- Most if not all of the AN 747 S/O's went to QF and in fact were amongst the first AN pilots to be employed by them. If the worst case scenario did come true and QF folded like AN don't think that having 3 stripes on your shoulder will be a guarantee of a job. The only stripes that really matter are 4 stripes and even then back it up with wide body time. Thousands of hours F/O time fills up a lot of pages in the log book but in the end it comes down to who you know not what you know.

Pinky the pilot
10th Apr 2003, 14:28
Col Kurtz Sir; Re your two questions; I think I can answer both at once.
Have you ever known any large publically listed company to do either of what you suggested? ie rehire the staff 'let go' and/or have executive staff take salary cuts.
Would be a first I think.

You only live twice. Once when
You're born. Oce when
You've looked death in the face.

10th Apr 2003, 15:27
Under the long haul award, if QF are to make pilots redundant they have to give six months notice, short haul is three months. I reckon that as they are short of 767 captains, pilots are being knocked back for long service leave and the 737/800 pilots have trouble getting leave, I suspect that it may be a beat up by a journalist (funny how they have a habit of doing that). As per seniority, it is last on, first off, so that would mean that there would be significant costs involved in down training as well as the time that would be involved. Before pilots are put off, hours would be reduced to the minimum due to the costs involved in putting them back on if they were retrenched and then things came good.
Recruiting of pilots is not happening for three months now and they are going to review it at the end of that period. There was supposed to be a cadet course starting (last week, I think) that was put off until further notice.

Z Force
10th Apr 2003, 15:35
I fail to see the logic how, on one hand, they are making staff redundant due to tough times, yet on the other they want to go and splurge money on another airline. Doesn't make sense to me but I just guess I don't see the big picture.

10th Apr 2003, 15:35
Perm FO,
so wat yr saying a 5 yr F/O, and a 5yr S/O have equal billing in the recruitment world??Everything else being equal.
You're kidding right.
Goto Dragonair with log book full of jumpseat time and see the reaction.

10th Apr 2003, 15:57
1. When the war ends, the disease is contained the pax pickup again, and they make MORE profit are they gonna spread the profit round and will the 'retrenched' get their jobs back?

Yeah they will, as Contractors!

Pimp Daddy
10th Apr 2003, 17:02
I fail to see the logic how, on one hand, they are making staff redundant due to tough times, yet on the other they want to go and splurge money on another airline. Doesn't make sense to me but I just guess I don't see the big picture.

The splurge on the other airline would result in increased efficiency and profits across the Tasman, and probably to the US as well.

We all know that the result will be that the new one class deathstars from Air NZ will do the bulk of the flying because they are cheaper than QF but QF will still get the money.

Spend money, make more money.

Companies are good corporate citizens when it suits them, and unfortunately us employees rank second to the shareholders.

10th Apr 2003, 19:14
Jimmy Pop posted a thread that quoted 'including pilots' being retrenched. If you have a look at the QF press release there is NO mention of pilots getting the flick. Further, if you've listened to Geoff Dixon at the press conferences, there are NO reports of pilots going there either.

Of course, when Geoff says 'company wide' that doesn't mean that pilots WON'T be affected. However, QF have had downturns like this before (post Sep 11 for example) where similar numbers of staff were laid off and yet Flight Ops were still recruiting at the time. Don't believe you read everything you read in the media.

10th Apr 2003, 22:45
BLOI MOI-What I'm saying is that being a five year anything other than a wide body Captain is not going to guarantee you a job. Unless you have significant Airbus time or know someone who can vouch for you Dragonair is not an option either.

11th Apr 2003, 13:07
I know of at least 6 AN F/Os, without Airbus or widebody time, now employed by Dragonair , what a load of shite, so you need Wide body CMD time to get a job in this industry do you?, just look at PARC now and then, plenty of work, or until recently anyhow, for F/Os and CPT, not a great deal for S/Os though.
If your name on here suggests yr current condition, then perhaps you're correct sometimes any amount of FO time wont guarantee a job, exception to the rule i guess

11th Apr 2003, 15:06
Oh well, thank you Mr DIXON! looks like i will be looking for a new job next month!! so dixon? are you going to take a PAY FREEZE!!

11th Apr 2003, 16:48
BLO MOI- If you read the post I did say that lots of F/O hours didn't guarantee you a job. I also said that getting a job with someone like Dragonair ,if you didn't have Airbus time ,would probably require someone on the inside vouching for you. You did say that 6 AN F/O's got into Dragon without Airbus time, by anyones reckoning thats not a lot out of 800. As for contract work if its your scene its fine. If it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling to think that 3 shiny QF stripes will allow you to walk into a job anywhere in the world if QF went under then ignorance is bliss.

11th Apr 2003, 18:53
Ultralights - that is a stupid post. If you are made redundant, when things improve ( which should be sooner rather than later ), you will be first back on. Qantas are still interviewing for further intakes so they still expect to take pilots in the not too distant future .Alot of the senior Captains have been made redundant in the past ( sometimes twice ) and they have now had long and successful careers.

And don't lower yourself into the gutter with comments like "so Dixon , are you going ......." .Leave that to other professions to name call and treat people with disrespect.
He has a done a pretty good job ,and maybe without his work , you wouldn't have had a job in the first place.

P.S I hope you and all others escape any redundancies that may occur.

Buster Hyman
11th Apr 2003, 19:00
Atta boy Geoff!!

Cut those numbers & lets see the share price rise! We shareholders have got to make the staff understand that, at the end of the day, we can't be getting returns when there are so many of them. Keep it coming Geoff!:*

11th Apr 2003, 23:44
And you'll find its basically impossible(financially) to return to a company you were previously made redudant from( for a few years) because of taxation related problems. If you return you return as a casual contractor, with none of the usual benefits of being a staff member.......ie no travel, no nothing. If you believe the you'll be re-employed when things improve line you'll believe anything.....I don't even believe such a thing was even mentioned by Dixon. Once your gone your gone, and if you come back it's as a contrator on nothing like you were on without any of the benefits

I can see his point on the other issue, if the company is finding it necessary to shed a lot of staff, Dixon and other senior management should at least except a pay cut or not recieve a bonus or have at least some loss of income, the bosses of United have all taken huge cuts as the company is in trouble...

Three Bars
12th Apr 2003, 14:25
I think most of us at QF don't really know what to make of Geoff Dixon.

We all know that he is a tough, agressive manager who would be an extremely difficult adversary in industrial matters. But he has also been responsible for the biggest expansion of QF in recent times, and is very ambitious with his future plans for Qantas.

So what are we to make of him? Personally, I wish him well for his expansion plans. A strong profitable company is the best way for me to secure a long-term future. I just hope that the pie is divided amongst the workers when Iraq, SARS, recession etc wear off and the money starts to roll in again.

To me, loyalty to shareholders and customers is misplaced. The shareholders would sell stock in a heartbeat if they felt under financial pressure, and most pax would swap airlines in an instant to save a few bucks. Being loyal to your workers seems to be a mantra that (except for Richard Branson) has disappeared form the management textbooks. Hopefully, Geoff still has a bit of loyalty left for us.

12th Apr 2003, 15:34
Gents, rather than pissing in each others pockets about what widebody/ Airbus/ command experience will get you a job elsewhere, perhaps you should the consider the repution of your current employer within the marketplace. Unfortunately, the few Qf pilots who have ventured outside the Qf womb, have done nothing to enhance the professional reputation of their former colleagues. This I would suggest, will pose a bigger impediment to your future employment than your lack of experience. Cheers,

Johhny Utah
13th Apr 2003, 17:14
Three bars - how do you propose that Richard Branson is loyal to his staff - by throwing them a party once a year, turning up around the place dressed up & generally acting like a goose? Or is it by paying them way below industry standard wages AND somehow convincing them to PAY for the privilege...?:mad:

I simply fail to see how RB can be painted as the saviour of aviation in Australia by so many people. Perhaps someone can explain to me how he gets away with it...?:confused:

13th Apr 2003, 21:19
Ultralights - that is a stupid post. If you are made redundant, when things improve ( which should be sooner rather than later ), you will be first back on.

Even when things Improve, i dont think i want to work for QF again!

I have been there 17 Yrs now, and not seen a pay rise in 6!
there cutting the young blood and keeping the dead wood, and not to mention "jobs for the boys" is rampent. not surprising when the new engineers from NZ and South Africa get to the top of their pay scales in 18 Months, and guys that have been there more than 10 yrs get nothing.

Morale? whats that?