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MERGED: Qantas grounded effective immediately.

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MERGED: Qantas grounded effective immediately.

Old 23rd Nov 2011, 04:42
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The Senate responses just smell of legalise so they continue to play games with everyone and stick to the obviously well advised strategy of differentiating between planning and implementing.

The fact is that this happened on a Saturday and any business requiring a large commitment of resources to effect "planning" needed some level of assurance before proceeding to have large resources on hand. You ever tried to get a courier on a Saturday let alone the number needed for this game???Similarly, it may be interesting to see when proofs were submitted to printers or how plans were "developed".

There needs to be some forensic digging here and not just token acceptance of what they say (and dont say) given the stakes involved.

This is all in addition to despatch of staff to overseas ports.

Everyone knows what happened here, everyone knows when the mindset was firmed up, everyone knows a process was implemented to cover some collective rear ends and now we need some Senators with the fortitude to dig until the truth is revealed as the credibility of any words from these Executive mouths and highly paid consultants is very low based on history to date.

If you dont believe that, ask why they answered in such a manner the Senate questions.The answers raise almost as many questions as they answered.
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Old 23rd Nov 2011, 05:29
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Airlines a sound investment?

Is da little fella keeping an eye on the Middle East? Those rascally oil loving desert dwellers always have the potential to upset the plans of an airline CEO hell bent on world aviation domination !
Oil heading for $US200 a barrel?
David Lee Smith

November 22, 2011

In May 2008, as crude oil steamed toward an all-time high of $US147 per barrel, a Goldman Sachs group predicted that the price could move as high as $US200 within the following 24 months.
Instead, during the second half of the year its price rolled over and began a free fall to near $US30 as December brought the eventful year to a close.
It now appears, however, that Goldman might just have been early in its prediction rather than simply wrong.
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Oh, I know, light, sweet crude is currently trading near $US100 a barrel, and it would require a host of major events to drive it to double that level, especially during 2012.
But almost unnoticed is a price increase by nearly a third in just the past month. I'm wagering that a host of the potentially catastrophic events could involve Iraq and its neighbour to the east, Iran. The result, almost certainly, would be a steep escalation of crude levies.
Swimming in oil?
For now, energy affairs in war-torn Iraq are progressing swimmingly. The country's production has grown by leaps and bounds since major oil companies from around the world – beginning with a BP-led consortium, and later including ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell – began accepting the government's unusual contractual terms and started reinvigorating its major (albeit waning) fields.
The companies have boosted Iraqi production from a couple of thousand barrels a day to 2.6 million daily barrels in just over a year.
Even more impressive are the seemingly reasonable notions that the country could reach 9 million barrels a day within a few years. That number assumes, however, that the companies are able to plug away unabated. And therein lies the rub.
The lurking dangers
Last month, US President Barack Obama announced a complete withdrawl of all US forces from Iraq, thereby making room for as many Iranians as that country's President Ahmadinejad wishes to deploy to his neighbour's territory. The Wall Street Journal called the announcement "a disappointment for US defence officials".
Further, ExxonMobil has ruffled feathers in Iraq by becoming the first member of Big Oil to reach an agreement to search for oil and gas in the country's semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. The Kurdish area is thought to hold as much as 45 billion barrels of oil and 200,000 billion cubic feet of gas, amounts approximately comparable to those in Libya.
Obviously, the primary concern involves the potential for widespread conflicts between the companies working in Iraq and those that wish to spread their efforts to the Kurdistan region. According to the Iraq Oil Ministry's Abdul Mahdi al-Ameedi: "Exxon should choose between either continuing with its deal with the Kurdistan Regional Government or lose its contract in southern Iraq."
Potential strife
Clearly more danger lies in Iran's development of nuclear weaponry, which – if it weren't already widely known – was documented this month in a United Nations report. Beyond that, concerns are mounting almost daily regarding the potential of Israeli airstrikes (with or without US support) against Iran's nuclear facilities.
And finally, within Iraq, minimally publicised Shiite-Sunni factionalism appears to run the risk of spilling over into a renewed civil war with the attendant danger of possibly drawing in Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia - neither of whom are especially fond of each other to begin with.
At the same time, with the US about to complete its role as a peacekeeper in the country, Maliki has yet to fill a number of ministry posts, given his concern about a coup emanating from potentially disloyal security units. As such, he remains personally in charge of the ministries of defence, interior, and national security.
Foolish take-away
I could continue to discuss potential difficulties in the oil-rich Persian Gulf area, along with other exporting countries, such as Libya and Nigeria.
But you get the point: The Middle East and north Africa - and especially the all-important Iraq-Iran-Saudi Arabia region – remain very much a tinderbox, with the potential to drive crude prices to stratospheric levels.

Read more: Oil heading for $US200 a barrel?
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Old 23rd Nov 2011, 10:01
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I had a chat with a mate today in the commercial printing business & queried him as to AJ’s version as to the “lockout letters”.

First of all he looked at previous letters from the company. He noted they were addressed with the individuals name & mailing address. They also included a bar code & in some instance a staff number. The quality of the print appeared very good, that being a commercial standard. In previous instances correspondence was also in an envelope that was printed with the individual name & address on it.

This style of letter would have been produced externally & he stated that with his experience in the industry would probably take 3 to 4 days to produce & mail out. That is, if a printing slot was immediately available to do the print run.

Keeping in mind there were approximately 9000 AIPA, ALAEA & TWU members to receive these letters & a commercial printer generating 180 pages per minute & including the automatic fold function into a “DL” or two fold format to fit into a standard envelope.

The standard 3 to 4 days would need some extra time to print the material & in the “lockout” letter case, print the stickers with names & addresses on them. Then send the material to a mail house, where the 30 plus workers would then place the stickers on the envelopes, place the letters in the envelopes then sort the mail ready to be sent to couriers around the country. The sorting process per geographical location would take a significant amount of time.

Keep in mind the letters would then leave the mail house & be sent to couriers all around the nation with the associated travel time to get there. Then the couriers would need to collect the said mail & start their delivery run.

So in his opinion 3 to 4 days minimum, if all was going well & using external commercial hired help.

Compare this to the AJ story of the lockout letters, after authorizing the print & mail out mid morning on Saturday 29th Oct for delivery the next day (a Sunday)

My mate stated the print quality in the case of my letter was average. Not something that he would expect from a commercial printer. There was no name or address on it, nor staff number or barcode. It raised his eyebrows because it was different to previous company correspondence. No, printed name & address on the envelope (just a sticker), again different to previous correspondence.

In his opinion it looked like the printing of the letters & the mail house functions may have been done in house. That being photocopies of a standard letter, then a print run of the address labels. He knows people in the industry & he reckons the best copiers QF would have would probably only do about 120 letters per minute & wasn’t sure whether they had the automatic fold capability. It would then take considerable time to then fold the letters (if required), place them in an envelope, stick the name & address label on the front. Then sort the mail by location ready for distribution to the couriers.

The conclusion he draw from this is because of the time frame taken to use external contractors plus possible leaks to the public of the impending lockout. The print & mail house functions would have been likely to be done in house & would have taken a lot of time to do.

We discussed why would some people get lockout letters & others not?

He stated, when companies try to do print runs like this in house, they’ll make mistakes.

Sound familiar? Some staff getting no lockout letters, other staff getting return to work letters sent to pilots with letters inside referencing an engineering EBA.

If I was AJ & an external company was contracted to do my legally required print run & mail out & the above happened, I’d want my money back!!

My mate went on further to say that there would be a trail of evidence after a 9000 letter print run. If it was printed externally, he said large commercial printers would be attached to a computer. There would be evidence of the document sent to the printer & the computer keeps records of the print run to ensure accurate billing, referencing the date, time & amount of pages. If it was a copier & done in house a technician could access the copier & view the print jobs & look at date, time of printing & number of pages.

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Old 23rd Nov 2011, 12:54
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The first 3 mins or so is the bit to watch...

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Old 23rd Nov 2011, 20:20
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Nice work MC, thanks for the "insiders perspective" on the process. Now time for the forensic investigation with these leads.
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Old 23rd Nov 2011, 20:38
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Has anyone posted this yet?...yes I am lazy and not trawling though several pages, you can enjoy it again if you have seen it before.

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Old 24th Nov 2011, 02:37
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Very interesting MC.

According to the Fin Review today (Thurs 24th pg 3)
The response from the company reveals that printing of the lockout notices to employees, undertaken by Focus Press, started on the morning of Saturday, October 29 "on the proviso that the job may be withdrawn at any time". "Printing did not commence until 11am to 11.30am after advice that a decision had been made by the QANTAS CEO," the company said.
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 03:31
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I wonder why focus press had the spare capacity on a Saturday morning to take a job like this? Did they know it was coming? Had they been put on notice on previous weeks also?
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 03:52
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I wonder why focus press had the spare capacity on a Saturday morning to take a job like this? Did they know it was coming? Had they been put on notice on previous weeks also?
There is no other explanation than a week or so advance notice was given and had the letters printed off before he made that fateful decision on 29 October. It would be impossible for AJ to wake Saturday morning, convene a phone hook-up meeting with the board at 1030 and advise them of his decision to ground the fleet and lockout the workers, then call Focus Press and say "Hey, I need 9,000 letters (with individual's names and addresses) printed pronto in the next half-hour to hour", placed in QANTAS envelopes (I still have mine), then sent to couriers around the country to be delivered to the recipient recalcitrant employees by the next day at the latest.

I received my notice of IA termination two days after the event by way of express post.

Unfortunately, nothing will come of this but more cyberspace and print media being taken up with what should be done to AJ for what he did to the company, its customers and the government.
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 04:05
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The answer from the Irish 1/3 will always be:

'We had planned for a range of options, and thank you for bringing this up again, but lets be very clear about this. It was only on the Saturday morning that we decided to ground the airline....'

Keen observers may note use of Royal 'we'. Although 'wee' might be more in keeping with the stature of the quotee..
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 04:27
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Lads, was I was the last one to know that the lead singer in Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson, is a senior airline capt.? Hows that for moonlighting! Off subject I know but thought it would give you some cause for optimism, thats if you can sing of course.
Unfortunately he is also in a position of trying to save an airline.

Bruce Dickinson airline resue

There is also a PPrune thread about it

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Old 24th Nov 2011, 10:19
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 11:56
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Originally Posted by neville_nobody
There is nothing written therefore there is no requirement for notice of lockout.
So why then is there so much mention of the '72 hours notice' in the FWA hearing? The entire Qantas argument for the shutdown of the airline was that they had to give 72 hours notice and that it was a safety threat so therefore it is safer to ground the airline. If there is no requirement as you say the statements in the hearing are completely illogical. Their whole justification for the shutdown was that they had to give 72 hours notice.

If QF could have just locked out the workforce as you say why didn't they just do that rather than stuff around with a safety based shutdown?
So locking out the majority of LH pilots, ground staff/baggage handlers and LAMEs, would have had no effect and kept things running as normal?

The s424 FWA hearing really wasn't the forum for airing all this because that was not the substantive issue at play. It's a legitimate concern and I'd bet the house that AiPA are preparing questioning for their Fed Court application. There's the opportunity to ask some questions about the evidence of "heightened safety risks".

Also for the earlier arguments about notice period for a lockout, there isn't any prescribed in the legislation. The reasoning is because its a "response" to action that is taken. The Greens moved a Bill in the parliament to have the 3 day notice period for lockouts. I don't think it will get anywhere personally.

I think one for the lawyers is the interpretation of s424(1) that says: "FWA must make an order suspending or terminating protected industrial action for a proposed enterprise agreement..."etc.

Is there solid precedent that FWA should have terminated "all" protected industrial action. This isn't about red ties vs lockout, it's about the ambiguity in that provision where no distinction is made between employee claim and employer response action.
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 12:12
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qantas-twitter_downfall.wmv - YouTube
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 13:53
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Airline had no option but to take a stand, says Future Fund chief

THE Future Fund chief, David Murray, has backed Qantas in the dispute with its workforce, saying unless companies like the airline tackle entrenched union privilege Australia risks the same fate as Europe.
And he says the government is aping Europe by borrowing to buy votes.
''My European banking counterparts tell me they can't cut jobs without offering three years redundancy,'' he told a forecasting conference in Sydney.
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''We are creeping towards that in the new industrial relations framework. It gives unions a right to bargain in areas [that were] traditionally the management's prerogative.
''Australia started out after the Second World War making work arrangements a little bit more reliable, introducing the rule of law, but the process has gone too far - it gets to the point of unaffordability.
''Qantas management have no option but to do what they are doing. They are running an unviable airline

Typical banker speak...
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 17:05
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So, a company making (good) profits is 'unviable', but financial institutions that lose so much money they require government bailouts are worthy of executive bonuses in the millions.....

there is something really wrong with this picture.....
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 19:38
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The nerve of a someone who CREATED MONEY OUT OF THIN AIR AND CHARGES INTEREST ON IT enabling him to reap millions.
The banks have been the great enablers of the collapse in Europe. Goldman Sachs helped Greece "cook the books" to hide debt off-balance sheet to enter the Euro, French & German banks were lend until their leverage was >50:1 to sovereigns. It is this accumulation of debt in the system that is the problem. The bankers aided the politicians to hand out money they didn't have, the unions scooped up what they could for their members.

The financiers are the most unproductive parasites in the economy, sucking enormous profits from the real economy by simply indebting the populous either via mortgages (US,GBP,AU) or socialist government spending (Europe, China) spending. It is the banker sucking the life force from the workers, not the unions.
The unions, they also have a case to answer, but problems they caused are at least an order of magnitude less that those of the financiers. I have a whole thread running on this:Globalisation debt & Banking.
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 20:56
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David Murray has made a fool of himself.

Throughout the last decade, Qantas has consistently said that it has failed to make an "Adequate return" on its capital without specifying what an "Adequate return" would be.

Similarly, Qantas has consistently refused to state what the "Structural Issues" are with respect to its employees that are affecting productivity.

One must therefore conclude that the only "structural" issue is that the employees are paid too much and must therefore be replaced with something cheaper and of lower quality.

This conclusion has been bolstered by the fact that Unions have consistently offered to revamp work practices in the interests of increased productivity, only to be rebuffed and stonewalled by management.
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 21:45
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David Murray says entrenched union privilege must be tackled. Well Mr Murray the unions, ie working class people, have been industrially neutered for years. Having to sell your ar$e for a CPI payrise while you fail to slam Joyce's 71% . No doubt that was fully justified.

Unlike the strongest union, that is the clubby board structure of Australian corporations, who like Mr Murray fail to see the glaring hypocrisy of this statement. In an age where executive packages have outstripped average weekly earnings by many multiples Murray has confirmed his bloody ignorance.
Get out if the boardroom and into the real world.
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Old 24th Nov 2011, 21:52
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Similarly, Qantas has consistently refused to state what the "Structural Issues" are with respect to its employees that are affecting productivity.
In the same manner that they have refused to outline how the international business has been losing $216million a year. I have outlined in previous posts the loads they carry out of Sydney and an average out of Australia. It was made to sound like they carry 18% loads, when in fact their load factor averages around the 72% to 73%. Sure they may carry only 18 out of 100 passengers out of the country, but it has been failed to be mentioned that QANTAS simply does not fly to as many destinations or hubs (21 in total and diminishing) as its competitors.

The other interesting point is what the international side of the business carries. It does carry J* and also the "flagship" Frequent Flyer program. People accumulate points by way of credit card or flying on partner carriers or flying domestic sectors such as SYD-CBR or even to the regional areas, then use the points on international routes. How are these points paid for when they are used? The international side of the business absorbs the cost of the seat by trading a saleable seat for points that have been paid to the FF program.
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