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Qantas Pilots, You Are Losing The Battle.

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Qantas Pilots, You Are Losing The Battle.

Old 17th May 2011, 18:15
  #1 (permalink)  
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Qantas Pilots, You Are Losing The Battle.

AIPA, unless you can quickly and comprehensively counter this sort of management PR spin, you have lost your battle for public opinion.

Qantas management is painting you as a bunch of stuck up, overpaid, Prima Donnas as this article in the Herald Sun demonstrates rather well. You must counter this, not "explain" it!

Bear in mind that the average person reads just the first few paragraphs and then switches off.

If you strike with public opinion against you, the Government will most definitely not side with you because they won't want to see their poll numbers dragged down. For all we know, Tony Abbott could make a pilot strike into a cause celebre and bring down the Gillard Government.

You must get your message out! Have you not hired a professional spin doctor? Don't try and do it yourself!

A source close to negotiations told the Herald Sun that the pilots' negotiating body - the Australian & International Pilots Association - demanded two free international trips every year for its members in premium economy, with priority given for upgrades to business and first class tickets.

This could cost Qantas $15 million a year.

They also want discounted Qantas Club memberships for family members and increased penalty rates for flying different types of aircraft.

But in perhaps their most audacious demand, pilots also want the opportunity to determine who travels.

In the proposed AIPA agreement handed to Qantas, it was demanded that the "pilot in command shall, in consultation with the CSM (customer service manager), have the ability to allocate one curtained economy class seat at his/her sole discretion".

The bid is said to have angered Qantas, with CEO Alan Joyce yesterday admitting the company's international business - which employs the 1700 pilots - is losing money.

The Herald Sun believes that if the proposed new penalties are paid, some pilots will earn up to $500,000 a yea

Qantas pilots bid for first class deal | Herald Sun
Sunfish is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 18:21
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I can't see how the seat demand would 'cost' $15 million a year. The seats would be empty otherwise wouldn't they?

I wonder how many dumb management decisions it would take to come up with $15 million in costs?

Everyone would have to admit that allowing such a crass generalisation as 'The Herald Sun believes.....senior pilots would earn $500K' can't do anything but harm.
Chronic Snoozer is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 19:05
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Agreed Sunfish,

Pilots need to decide whether they are battling the offshoring of jobs or not. Confusing the issue with crapola just gives AJ the huge ammunition he needs to sway the public opinion.

Get real AIPA. Don't fight the staff travel issue and the offshoring issue simultaneously. Keep it to jobs and win the moral high ground.
HF3000 is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 20:01
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Losing the battle big time!!!!!
I am in the uk at the moment and there was a snippet in the news over here. All that you could notice was the bits that said engineers wanting free qantas club memberships and qantas pilots wanting free seats for friends and 500k salaries. Both unions listen...within 2 days I can guarantee the public perception has swung. Better get smart and very quickly...
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Old 17th May 2011, 20:42
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I agree you are giving them too much ammo.
Don't make it about money, QF can then generalise about salaries (some Senior Captains would be on the equivelent of nearly $500k according to their own bar room talk if you comparied it to post-tax money in the bank) don't give them the opportunity to make that a talking point.
Sacrifice the staff travel etc for the next round in three years.
Make history by turning up to the table with Australias simplest ever wish-list. One item. Job security.That will show the public how serious this is.
And as Sunfish says, get a professional and get in the media or it's a lost battle. Remember that millions of Ausi's are raising families on $60k a year, they can't be expected to take your side when they look at the money side of things. It's not human nature.
framer is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 20:59
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Chronic Snoozer:

I can't see how the seat demand would 'cost' $15 million a year. The seats would be empty otherwise wouldn't they?
It doesn't matter a flying *** what you think, know, understand.

It is what the public thinks!!! NOT YOU!!!!

There is no point explaining words like "sub load", etc., all the public knows is that they have to pay thousands of dollars for a seat, and you greedy bastards want one for free!

For goodness sake hire a professional to do your spin for you. Patient explanation and reasoning about empty seats will get you absolutely nowhere!
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Old 17th May 2011, 21:16
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You are losing on on a number of fronts:

1. Rat is controlling spin.

2. There is only one side out there.

3. There is NOTHING presenting any balance or focus for debate.

Pretty one sided battle from these eyes and you guys deserve much better. This is not a practice run so either get your act together or be prepared for consequences that none of us will like.
rodchucker is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 21:38
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Exactly I almost died when I heard these Qantas Club demands from both sides. Are you losing focus?! ALAEA Fed Sec, what the hell were you thinking sir? (I single you out because I know you will read this, but equally can be said for AIPA). It seems that you are clouding the job security issue.

If you can't get that through, you won't have a job to enjoy QC membership with.
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Old 17th May 2011, 21:38
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From the Daily Telegraph in Sydney today:

QANTAS pilots are demanding they get a guaranteed seat for their wives or kids or anyone else they want for any international flight, as they step up their industrial war with the national carrier.

As the pilots' union plans to fire the first salvo for strike action this week, they are also demanding a "curtained" seat for their partner or child or any other nominated person on any one of the airline's 27,500 international flights.

The Australian International Pilots Association is expected to start the process for strike action as soon as Friday, after giving Qantas a deadline of tomorrow night to come to the table with job security guarantees.

If that deadline passes they are expected to lodge an application with Fair Work Australia for a blind ballot - meaning a strike is imminent in the next 30 days.

This would be potentially catastrophic for the airline, whose international services already run at a loss and are heavily subsidised by their domestic operations.

The pilots said their concerns were about the outsourcing of jobs overseas - a move Qantas denies making. However documents obtained by The Daily Telegraph reveal they are also pursuing other perks such as guaranteed next-to-nothing overseas travel for their partners, children or friends.

An extract from the enterprise bargaining agreement claim the pilots are putting to Qantas states: "The pilot in command shall, in consultation with the CSM [customer service manager], have the ability to allocate one curtained economy class seat at his/her discretion."

The "curtained" seat refers to a rest seat that would otherwise be available to cabin crew on a long-haul flight.

It was previously voted on among the crew as to who would get the seat, but pilots are demanding that they now get to pick and choose above everyone else on board.

They would only have to pay one-tenth of the regular cost of a fare, making a return trip to LA a mere $173 based on current prices.

Qantas declined to comment on specific EBA demands but a spokesman said: "The pilots' union is making unreasonable claims which would cost a lot of money and jeopardise the jobs of Qantas' 35,000 employees.

"Rather than threatening strikes we would encourage the union to negotiate a fair and reasonable agreement."

AIPA acting president Captain Richard Woodward said: "It's standard practice in the global aviation industry for flight and cabin crew fatigue management. These seats are never used by paying passengers and are more accurately called 'crew rest seats'."
and there's a poll to go with it.

Qantas pilots' bid for family flights | thetelegraph.com.au

I just selected Yes to see the poll results - only 133 votes but 111 answered Yes to the question "Is special seating for a pilot's family too much?"

So yes, you won't get any support from the public and not much from within QANTAS as well.
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Old 17th May 2011, 21:51
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the worst part is, well, apart from the fact that the PR war has already been lost, is that the public perception resulting from all the spin BS, is that it results in painting all pilots with the same brush! i have had people tell me i must be rich when i tell them im a Raaus/GA flying instructor. and they dont believe me when i tell them i only earn about 10 to 15 per hour.

though there is a story in todays SMH in sydney that actually has a pay figure listed
"The secretary of the Australian and International Pilots Association, Steve Anderson, said the new contracts, under which cadets could accumulate a training debt of $150,000 to the airline while earning as little as $34,000 a year, would place Jetstar at the bottom of the international scale and would lead to transient, less experienced pilots."

Pilots claim new contracts put safety at risk

its a very small victory, but judging by the fact that there is a POLL on these demads, then you are already royally screwed.
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Old 17th May 2011, 21:56
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Ok, you guys now need to feed an article that counters that and have a poll also, any ideas on what the question would be in your poll ?
framer is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 22:01
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after having demanded some answers from Aipa i can see that we as a group are on a uphill battle...These guys are still stuck back in the late 80'S somewhere and still harbour a lot of the sentiment and animosity from back then, neither of which is going to help any of us in this current environment.....Why is not everybody demanding these guys to hire professionals to deal with the media and the public perception.....why the hell do we all pay dues.....for f**ks sake get on with it.....
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Old 17th May 2011, 22:26
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It's funny how little tidbits like this just pop up and get into the media.

Unfortunately whether they are cherry picked or not is irrelevant. The public or the boneheads that read the soc of the paper that read the telegraph (like me ) Will only read

Two international flights a year
$500k a year

and conclude that all pilots are overpaid, demanding, whining systems managers

So is the curtained economy seat an economy seat or in the rest quarters or both depending on A/C?

Btw isn't that the whole point of negotiating start high and compromise until you get what you actually wanted?

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Old 17th May 2011, 22:37
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Poll is at 50/50 now. Lots of ppruners on there?

(...and why would you click 'yes' to see the results? You can click 'no' (like I did) to see the results too.)
Dragun is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 23:12
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What the boneheads out there in telegraphland fail to understand is the negotiating process. Anything that gets put on the table has to be negotiated off the table. All union claims include nice to have snowflakes chance in hell articles.The company also has the 'no chance' requests.One of those takes out one of yours. If you go cap in hand with very basic demands you get sfa.

The qf pr achine is well paid up and rehearsed. Countering it with how much the execs are getting for very poor results is fighting fire with fire.Remember geoff exiting with 11 million? remember AJ getting 44% as he walked in the door? They get multiples of the top paid pilot and are not responsible for anything like you guys take on daily. 500K is a lot of dough and few get it.The vast majority of pilots get far far less.
The average / median / mean pilot I suspect gets paid quite poorly.
ampclamp is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 23:13
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It doesn't matter a flying *** what you think, know, understand.

It is what the public thinks!!! NOT YOU!!!!
Sunfish is so right it's not funny! Its all about public perception.

Hmm ... the difference I see is

Managment deal in spin, general fluffing, and, well, bullshite each and every single day. To their managers, to employees, to the media.

Pilots and Engineers on the other hand only work in fact while on the job.

Think about this ... If you were too high and too fast on approach no amount of spin is going to fix it right? Because anything you say will get shot down. Its all about the hard facts.
Whereas the line from management might go something like "management would not accept they were too high and denied they were too fast. In fact we carried the extra height and speed incase we needed to make a missed approach which is exactly what we ended up doing. All involved Management should now pat themselves on the back for such great foresight."

Pilots and engineers need to start thinking in this way when talking to the media!!! Whenever I see a line quoted from some AIPA rep I literally cringe.

Now I guess anyone these days can take out a half page space in the major newpapers? What could you do with this space?

What about reminding everyone of certain problems Qantas have had with their aircraft since outsourcing maintenance overseas. Such as
The oxygen bottle explosion on the 747, and
The QF32 engine explosion

Well Mr and Mrs General Public ... guess what?! Qantas now wish to outsource the pilots too

What do you think would have been the outcome of QF32 if an outsourced Indian pilot with a fake licence and a 200 hour cadet pilot had been at the controls?!

Would you let your family fly the "new" Qantas?
PCFlyer is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 23:23
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I wonder how many flights management and board members get per year, and the benefits for their families? They probably get guaranteed Business or even First class. Even 1 of those is worth more than the 2 economy trips that have supposedly been asked for!

Maybe a good place to start with the spin.
Car RAMROD is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 23:28
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For Chrissake get professional PR help or you might as well shut down now.
Sunfish is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 23:31
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I'll put my hand up and contribute to an advertising campaign.

The punchline has to be short and sweet and attention grabbing.

How about:


"Hello this is your pilot speaking, would you like fries with your order?"

Alan Joyce wants to pay the pilot of your flight the same as a student flipping burgers.

Are you happy about your life being Mc valued?


A little dramatic perhaps, but the Qf PR department already well and truly started down that path..
FullySickBro is offline  
Old 17th May 2011, 23:33
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Just on a side note:
That poll is deliberately misleading. Even tho more than 50% have voted NO the poll looks like double the number have voted YES.

Last edited by rmcdonal; 17th May 2011 at 23:34. Reason: Seplling
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