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AUGUST 24th - QANTAS

Old 8th Oct 2011, 12:08
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In the new language of "Olivia-ese", every single employee in Qantas is actually the highest paid in the world for any given occupation.

Olivia should've quit while she had a couple of tiny shards of credibility left (which was quite some time ago now). Then at least she would've been able to rebuild her career post-Qantas.
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Old 8th Oct 2011, 13:00
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They're still talking about the bucks like it's the only thing that matters to people. This steps around the interesting issue that clotted mentioned; Qantas workers are well paid by aviation standards but they're still cranky. Very, very cranky.

Maybe it's not all about the money? I know that to most corporate types that's like saying the sky is green, because frequently, the sort of people who become corporate monsters would sell their first born for a bonus. However, money isn't the only factor in workplace satisfaction. The fact that Virgin, Alliance, Tiger and other Aussie airline staff aren't lighting up Fookbook and this BB (among others) with a litany of complaints about their employers even though they often earn the same or less is further evidence of this. Sure there are spats, but nothing like the level of animosity that exists between Qantas management and staff.


It's like one of those really ugly marriage breakups you read about in the papers (if you read the gossipy girly bits) where Boringly Devoted Wife finds out after twenty years that Mr Mogul has been shagging the arse off anything that can't run away fast enough. The upshot is often a multimillion dollar claim from said BDW because 1. she's pissed off, 2. what's there to lose? and 3. It's the best available square up. Of course there's option 4 where she's just a gold digging bitch (no doubt Qantas management would put their staff in this category ) but it's not always the case. Either way, the whole thing usually costs a fortune, makes everyone involved look bad and doesn't actually achieve a lot. The lawyers end up cleaning up the baitfish and all that's left is a wreckage.

Sound familiar?

Unfortunately, in a toxic workplace there is no concrete way to address problems if the management don't want to listen. You can't down tools and say 'we're going out on strike until you show us a basic level of respect, recognise our efforts and give us a great big hug.' It's illegal. The only thing you can do is wait for the EBA (which only deals with 'hard' stuff like pay and conditions) and express your frustration within those EBA parameters and the Fair Work Act. Despite what the Cliffords of this world like to claim, the FWA is fairly limiting about IR action. The days of everyone standing down at the whim of a Union decree are largely over.

IMHO, anyone who claims it's all about the money and greedy Qantas workers wanting more dosh has not spoken to many Qantas workers, ie people who have ASICs, wear PPE and keep the aircraft flying, rather than people who do meetings and powerpoint. I'm not one to jump on the blanket Management Sucks bandwagon, because meetings and strategic planning are important (dunno about Powerpoint ), but they're not all that's important. If you're running an airline, you also need all the boring aircraft stuff and motivated, dedicated people to keep it happening.

They may have spoken to a few managers though, because that's the Party Line. Qantas is sticking with the 'we can't afford it, they want everything and we only made a paltry half a billion' in the media because it sidesteps the questions about the culture of bullying, insults and demonization of operational staff that seem to be endemic within Qantas.

Last edited by Worrals in the wilds; 8th Oct 2011 at 14:00.
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Old 8th Oct 2011, 13:10
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The days of everyone standing down at the whim of a Union decree are largely over.
my bold

That never happened anyway, remember, a union is a group of people with like interests and is run by its members. Remember, the Minerals council of Australia, The Farmers Federation and the Chamber of Manufacturers etc, etc are all unions, like it or lump it.
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Old 8th Oct 2011, 13:20
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Qantas management simply do not want to deal with unions. They have stated, that they do not want to have to consult unions in regards to future plans.

Unfortunately for them, Qantas IS a unionized work force, otherwise they would be dealing with 35000 separate employees.

If they took the time to remove their heads from their arses and then the trough of greed and actually consult with the unions then QF might have a fighting chance!!

What the F#ck do we need 110 A320's for???... are all the other airlines getting it so wrong operating wide body aircraft between Asia and Australia???

This management either needs to change their strategy or leave, if Qantas is to survive into the futute... or even the next 5 years.
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Old 8th Oct 2011, 13:23
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Arnold, fair enough. I'm a relative young 'un and just rely on the building site/waterfront/airside stories from the 1970s that get aired at the pub. Trust me on this; I'm not anti Union.

My point is that strikes are a lot more regulated than they were forty years ago. I believe that the Qantas Board and PR machine are playing the Union Heavy card as if it's still the 1970s in the hope that the public will buy it. Poor Widdle Qantas at the mercy of the Big Bad TWU just isn't the reality any more, unless the action is endorsed by FWA as a result of a breakdown in EBA negotiations. Qantas keep forgetting to mention that.
Unfortunately for them, Qantas IS a unionized work force, otherwise they would be dealing with 35000 separate employees...

They'd luurve that. 35,000 bickering individuals? You'd be lucky if anyone got paid at all. That's what companies do with their contract managers; set them all off against each other, ban them from discussing their salaries, set unachievable goals and eat away at their conditions one by one. Managers are worse off than wage earners when it comes to job security, conditions and sometimes pay, because they negotiate individually. It's amusing that so few of the poor little suckers realise it while they're looking down their noses at the plebs.
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Old 8th Oct 2011, 13:32
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I see your point, the point i was trying to make was infact that they are not dealing with 35000 employees rather unions, negotiating on their behalf. They have to accept this if the airline is to move forward.
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Old 8th Oct 2011, 13:46
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100% agree. Effective companies don't usually have Union Trouble. It's bad for business and often indicative of a deep divide between management and workers. Good companies have management and workers that work together and respect each other. There are tiffs (particularly at EBA and budget time) but for the most part, everyone's on the same page, ie let's make some money by selling stuff. Likewise, in the these degenerate modern times when Union membership is voluntary (and not just volunteering to pay up or cop a lump of 2 by 4 to the head ), a Union that is too divisive or inflammatory starts losing members.

In my experience most workers don't want to strike. They don't want to attend carpark meetings and rah rah with the media cameras watching. They just want to go to work for a reasonable wage for a company that makes it known that they're an important part of the business, and go home again. A lot of that doesn't even cost a lot, but even when the big boofy types laugh at the corporate 'we value your input' emails, if they feel the thanks is genuine (albeit wanky)...they're happy.
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Old 8th Oct 2011, 13:50
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To put it simply it's about having a common goal.

Clearly QF management and the unions do not. The unions want to secure the futures of its members and the airline into the future, the management do not. This management are not even concerned about the shareholders.

The agenda of the current management are set on lining their own pockets at employee and shareholder expense.
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Old 9th Oct 2011, 07:23
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Geoff Dixon video interview 6th October

The link below is to a Peter Switzer interview of Geoff Dixon on 6th October 2011.

Geoff's comments about the aviation industry start at the 5.40 minute mark & Qantas pilots get a mention after the 7.15 minute mark.

Geoff Dixon | Switzer
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Old 9th Oct 2011, 08:16
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The more someone says "I really mean this", the less we should believe it.
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Old 9th Oct 2011, 10:06
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wow...so now the reason QF pilots have a good reputation is because management approved the training.

maybe management will start flying the planes, fixing the planes, refuelling the planes, and serving the customers.
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Old 9th Oct 2011, 13:32
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Speaking of which, with the ALAEA going out tomorrow will we be seeing more palefaced managers running around the ramp in their best camping gear 'helping out'?

If so, the TV interviews would be great; 'I'm Mandy from finance, this is Mindy from HR and we're doing a wheel change on this A330...oh sorry, it's a 767. Do they use the same size wheels'?

Last edited by Worrals in the wilds; 9th Oct 2011 at 16:22.
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Old 9th Oct 2011, 23:56
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IMHO, anyone who claims it's all about the money and greedy Qantas workers wanting more dosh has not spoken to many Qantas workers, ie people who have ASICs, wear PPE and keep the aircraft flying, rather than people who do meetings and powerpoint. I'm not one to jump on the blanket Management Sucks bandwagon, because meetings and strategic planning are important (dunno about Powerpoint ), but they're not all that's important. If you're running an airline, you also need all the boring aircraft stuff and motivated, dedicated people to keep it happening.

They may have spoken to a few managers though, because that's the Party Line. Qantas is sticking with the 'we can't afford it, they want everything and we only made a paltry half a billion' in the media because it sidesteps the questions about the culture of bullying, insults and demonization of operational staff that seem to be endemic within Qantas.
Perhaps in a moment of introspection I would admit to being one of those people on the anti-management bandwagon. Now is not one of them.

Where there is smoke there is fire. We have been witness to an appalling litany of poor decisions despite the best advice of frontline staff. He have been left to deal with the consequences of these appalling decisions. There is a major credibility gap and a chronic and long-running debt and deficit in the Goodwill Bank.

There is a saying in the military: "there are no bad units, only bad leaders"; and at my local childcare centre: "there are no bad children, only bad parents"; and at my kid's school: "there are no bad students, only bad teachers."

Sadly, disengagement is evident at various levels in this company. Staff would probably show a little more engagement if our "fearless" leaders made an appearance at the coalface a little more often, and showed - proved - they were as engaged with the workforce as they expect the workforce to be engaged with their strategies.

I'd be happy to rise to the challenge if it was articulated to me face to face in terms that mattered to me from a leader who knew me and my colleagues, who respected what we did and who supported us, who did not fear the filthy masses, who had the courage to face us, to spend a day and a night at the coalface and see the challenges we face as a result of the litany of poor decisions. Yes there is the odd mug in any team who would attempt to make such a team leader feel uncomfortable, but the rest of the team would not tolerate it. That is the kind of leadership we crave. The kind of leadership we see everywhere but here.

(I still don't know what the last head of QE looks like. Apparently he wore glasses. The only reason I know what his successor looks like is because of the spam emails I receive fog-horning the latest company propaganda.)

In a perfect world, when the dust has settled after these various and parallel disputes, I'd like to see a round table where representatives from management and the front line leave baggage at the door, sit down and truthfully engage with one another. The executive don't have a monopoly on good ideas. If they started listening to the ideas that come from such round tables, we may save this airline together. But you the managers need to step up. We will follow.
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Old 10th Oct 2011, 10:36
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"..............that mattered to me from a leader who knew me and my colleagues"



Couldnt agree more. 10 years ago, our manager knew all of us by name, knew the names of our wives and girlfriends, even knew what kind of car we drove.
Nowadays, if sighted, managers refer to you as "mate", simply because they dont know your name, much less anything else about you ...............
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Old 10th Oct 2011, 12:30
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Hypocritical much?

SMH:
Executive pay: the high cost of market failure

The Australian Council of Super Investors (ACSI), the body which represents industry super funds, marked its ten-year anniversary last month with a ten-year study on executive pay.

It found the decade to 2010 saw median CEO fixed pay in the Top 100 ASX Australian companies rise 131 per cent and the median bonus increase 190 per cent.

This far outstrips the 31 per cent increase in the S&P/ASX100 over the 10 years.

“The findings … also indicate that while CEO cash pay – the value of pay disclosed excluding share-based payments – has fallen from the peak of 2008, it remains much higher than any year before 2007,” said the ACSI report. “This is despite the S&P/ASX100 declining 30 per cent over the three years to June 30, 2010.

“Median cash pay for top 100 CEOs in 2010 was $2.786 million, down 2.4 per cent from 2009 and 4.1 per cent from the record peak of $2.904 million in 2008. Despite this decline, median cash pay for a CEO of a top 100 company in 2010 was 12 per cent higher than any year prior to 2007.”

So, we have workers’ pay rising roughly 3 per cent a year, and the average super fund return over the decade little more than 3 per cent as well. Nonetheless, executive salaries put on double digit returns.

How can this possibly be regarded as a functioning market?

The market is broken. Supply and demand are not intersecting efficiently. On the supply side, there are plenty of contenders for CEO roles. Scarcity is a bogus argument – especially as there is no credible evidence that paying more money achieves a better result. The argument of higher pay for higher performance is based more on lobby group chimera than empirical evidence.
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Old 10th Oct 2011, 13:11
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Great post busboy330,
reading the comments and presto
As a share holder in many public companies, I along with many other shareholders are getting increasingly concerned how one part of our workforce ( the executive employees) getting their rewards and incentives from taking from the operational workforce (staff employees). In the past CEOs were visionaries that added value to a company through entreprenuership. These days they are increasingly accounts driven with their total creative focus on costs.
In the sad case of Qantas, executives are being paid increasing more per hour each year. However, the total remuneration paid for operational staff across the company divided by hours worked is decreasing. In other words, executive income and bonuses are not based on entreneurship but instead screwing costs out of the hourly rates on operations workers. This is so short term thinking. Sack executives like Joyce with this kind of thinking ...FAST!. As shareholders we must stand up and make all our employees work as a team instead of against each other.


Michael has articulated the problem very well here. This discontinuity can't go on. Take Qantas for example. Management have destroyed shareholder value to the point where not only is there no dividend but the share price recently hit an all time low.
In this case you would expect Alan Joyce and his wealth destroying executives to be shown the door. But no..they are rewarded for achieving this destruction.
That the major institutions who control the majority of the Qantas share capital sit back and do nothing just ads weight to the point Michael makes in this article.
The occupy wall street movement may come to Australia quicker than anyone thinks if shenanigans like this continue.

As another QAN shareholder, I support the strike of the engineers, the pilots etc. They will be there long after this CEO has left the country.
I have used all my shares to vote against the remuneration of Alan Joyce. I have seen the company's share price dive under Joyce.
What I can see is low-cost Joyce is running the airline to ground. To think that runt is receiving $5M when he can't even run or manage the company is ridiculous. To think he receives $5 when he can't even issue dividends to shareholders? Give me 20 airline pilots salaries = 1 CEO salary.
I want my value for money back. I ask the board to see reason and get rid of that CEO before he destroys the company.


Did the Qantas pilots who safely landed that crippled A380 super jumbo get $million bonuses for saving the lives of 440 people and the airline from $$Billion liability, from lawsuits, loss of equipment and loss of reputation OR did management just receive the $million bonuses.


The message is getting around just in time for the AGM....

.
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Old 10th Oct 2011, 13:40
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Give me 20 airline pilots salaries = 1 CEO salary.
Thats a good point actually. Does anyone company do that? The f/o salary is about 60% captain salary, why not tie the CEO's salary to the first year Captains base salary? Make it say....10 times the first year captains base salary and it moves as the workforces salary moves. Would make negotiations easier.
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Old 10th Oct 2011, 15:07
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Beginning to see through the spin?

Wider agenda in union stand-off with Qantas
Wider agenda in union stand-off with Qantas

Negotiations with the unions have been under way for the best part of a year. The agreement with pilots expired late last year, the engineers early this year and the baggage handlers and catering staff agreements expired in June. Simmering discontent between both sides quickly boiled over with the unions refusing to back down on even frivolous claims and the company determined to give no quarter resulting in the authorised action.


But Qantas raised the stakes significantly with its plans to shift some of its operations offshore, particularly the new full service carrier in Asia. Along with the new carrier, it was announced that 1000 jobs would be lost in Australia, a deliberately provocative move during wage negotiations.
Had the move been portrayed as an expansion of the empire, rather than a brutal shift to lower costs and move jobs offshore, it may well have received a better reception from the workforce and, indeed, customers. But there are still serious doubts about whether RedQ or OneAsia or whatever it will be called will ever fly.


For a public company to announce such a monumental shift without having nailed down even vague details, is highly unusual. Not only is a brand name yet to be dreamed up, Qantas management have yet to figure out exactly where this new airline would be based. Singapore and Kuala Lumpur both have been mentioned. But months after the announcement, we are still flying blind, leading some to conclude that the entire strategy merely is a threat or, rather, an option if the company can't bring its workers to heel.


While Qantas's plan to establish a low-cost domestic carrier in Japan, in partnership with Japan Airlines, makes sense, the full service south-east Asian operator is fraught with risk. It takes years to turn a profit on any new airline. Jetstar Asia, based in Singapore, has only recently turned a profit after years of losses.


The unions have managed to strike at least one serious blow to the credibility of Qantas's hierarchy.


Despite the titanic quest to trim costs, Alan Joyce and most of his senior team members were awarded major lifts in salary. Odd timing to say the least. That's forced Joyce on the defensive. The company spin now is that his pay is 10 per cent less than the average paid at the ASX Top 50 companies. That's all well and good. But Qantas isn't in the top 50. It's ranked number 60. my bold
Things are really hotting up.
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Old 10th Oct 2011, 19:54
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I am afraid that The Board and Senior Management of Qantas are about to learn a lesson I learned on about the Third day of my first job as a General Manager of a company:

Your employees can make more trouble for you, then you can for them.


Trust me on this.

Manage as if you were on the bottom of the pyramid, not the top. It's safer and ultimately more satisfying as long as you aren't a narcissist.

I have a friend who was at one stage a Director of a major bank I asked her what her secret of good management was: "I create the conditions where other people can succeed at what they must do." was her answer. If you drive that message "down" (up?) through management ranks, your business is automatically successful and profitable.


P.S. Let me tell you what will kill Qantas: Employee turnover. It may not even be turnover within the Qantas organisation, it may be in one of the outsourced services.
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Old 10th Oct 2011, 21:16
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Just curious, With all these 'managers' and so forth running around the ramp performing ramp duties while others are on strike, has anyone senior within QF assessed any associated risks with that being undertaken? Have these individuals received appropriate training? How is CASA viewing this issue, closely surveilling this as it takes place, from a risk perspective?
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