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MERGED: Qantas grounded effective immediately.

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MERGED: Qantas grounded effective immediately.

Old 14th Feb 2012, 07:48
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If the grounding was good for QANTAS, then business at ANSETT must be positively booming.
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Old 4th Mar 2012, 21:09
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Go the pilots

Pilots to challenge Fair Work ban

Matt O'Sullivan

March 5, 2012

QANTAS long-haul pilots have vowed not to take stop-work action this year if they are successful in appealing the ruling several months ago to ban industrial action in the aftermath of the airline's controversial grounding of its entire fleet.
The long-haul pilots' union will mount its case today before three judges in the Federal Court in Sydney against Fair Work's termination of the industrial action.
Their appeal, which has been expedited, is seen as a legal manoeuvre aimed at giving them a fallback position if they lose when Fair Work makes a binding decision on their dispute with Qantas later this year.
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The pilots will argue that Fair Work ''exceeded its power'' when it included them in the decision to terminate the industrial disputes between Qantas and two other unions representing licensed aircraft engineers and ground crews.
The vice-president of the Australian and International Pilots' Association, Richard Woodward, said his union was the only one of four parties, including Qantas, not to resort to disruptive action last year.
"AIPA made it clear throughout 2011 that our struggle was against damaging management policy and not loyal Qantas passengers,'' he said. "That is why we did not take stop-work action last year, and that's why we will not take stop-work action this year either, even if we win this case.''
The pilots' action last year involved alerting passengers to their concerns through in-flight announcements and wearing red ties instead of company-issued black ones.
Mr Woodward said the pilots' actions ''did not affect the economy in any way'', which was why it would claim that the industrial umpire ''got it wrong in terminating our action''.
"We believe this is a vital principle to fight for. Just because [the Qantas chief executive, Alan] Joyce chose the nuclear option does not mean that our legitimate and legal campaign should have been ended too.''
The long-running disputes between Qantas and the engineers' union, the Transport Workers Union and the long-haul pilots were brought to an abrupt end in early November when they were terminated by Fair Work.
Although the engineers have settled, the disputes between Qantas and the TWU, which represents baggage handlers, and the pilots' union over new enterprise agreements are heading to binding arbitration before Fair Work commissioners later this month and in June respectively.
The TWU and Qantas have shown little sign in negotiations recently of settling parts of their dispute before the commissioners begin to hear their claims on March 19.

Read more: Pilots to challenge Fair Work ban
Let's hope some common sense prevails....
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Old 5th Mar 2012, 00:00
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Liv's back!!!!!!!
Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth noted the federal government had said it would vigorously oppose the pilotsí unionís legal challenge and that the airline would be supporting the governmentís position.

Read more: Pilots to challenge Fair Work ban
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Old 23rd Mar 2012, 01:22
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Call for fines but Qantas wins on foreign workers

QANTAS and other airlines should face fines if they ground their aircraft fleets on the basis of spurious safety concerns, according to the majority view of a senate committee.

However, the committee has rejected bills proposed by the independent senator Nick Xenophon aimed at forcing Qantas and Jetstar to conduct more work such as aircraft engineering in Australia, and pay overseas cabin crew local wages when they fly on domestic legs of international flights.

In a report tabled yesterday, the committee recommended the federal government consider imposing penalties on airlines that ground their fleets if they cite ''safety concerns'' without a valid reason.

Senators questioned Qantas's chief executive, Alan Joyce, at a hearing shortly after his controversial decision in late October to lock out staff and ground the airline's entire fleet. It forced the federal government to intervene and led to the industrial umpire terminating Qantas's dispute with three unions.

Qantas told the senators the decision to ground its fleet was a response to safety concerns identified as part of a risk assessment in planning for the lock-out. The long-haul pilots union disputed Qantas's assessment of the risk to safety.

The senate committee wants airlines to be made to lodge a safety case with the air-safety regulator before they make a formal decision to ground planes because of the ''potential for widespread repercussions'' for Australia's economy and reputation abroad.

However, Coalition senators on the committee disagreed, saying such a demand on an airline would remove its ''right to run itself''.

Qantas welcomed the committee's rejection of Senator Xenophon's attempts to tighten the laws governing it but has taken exception to its demands for tougher rules over the grounding of aircraft.

''To be required to undergo a time-consuming process of justification and approval prior to taking safety action is unacceptable to Qantas and contrary to basic safety management principles,'' Qantas's head of government relations, Olivia Wirth, said yesterday. ''This is impractical when speed of response is essential to safe operations.''

Qantas and the Transport Workers Union, which represents baggage handlers, also began binding arbitration over a new enterprise agreement before the workplace umpire yesterday. The hearing in front of a full bench of Fair Work is expected to take several weeks.

Qantas settled its long-running dispute with aircraft engineers in December but has been unable to reach an agreement with baggage handlers and long-haul pilots.

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Old 23rd Mar 2012, 11:34
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I can't help thinking that QF knows something about the likely outcome of the AIPA vs QF arbitration that we don't.

When you think about the sequence of events leading up to the grounding it begins to make sense..

Firstly, the company has bleated for years now about how QF international has been 'losing hundreds of millions of dollars' and that Jetstar International is an 'amazing business' that conversely makes hundreds of millions of dollars profit.

Long term QF employees know that this is all baloney of course, but nevertheless it is accepted as 'fact' by what passes for the media in this country, and I suspect that the doctored public accounts will be the centrepiece of the companies 'evidence' when the hearings commence.

Secondly, it has been clear that from the get go the company has not been negotiating in good faith, or actually in any sort of faith at all. If you listen to one of the AIPA EA negotiators they tell you that one day a contractual item is almost 'agreed' and then the next day the company negotiating team comes back to the table and says 'nah we are not talking about that item anymore - its off the agenda now'.

The whole negotiating sequence has been designed to set up the scenario for the grounding, and now subsequent arbitration. The company (correctly) surmised that the QF pilot group would vote for PIA, and after it did so the die was cast - shades of '89 in a way.

The last piece of the puzzle (and this is the bit that really worries me) is the make up of the FWA full bench. Google 'Freehills' and FWA and see what comes out.

It is also a matter of record that Justice Guidice was the companies lawyer during 1989.

If you look at the companies log of claims at arbitration it effectively wipes out the LH award - particularly the rostering components, which are moved 'off award' into a separate 'rostering manual' which the company alone can control.

I hope I am wrong, but it seems to me the fix might be in, and the company knows it.
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Old 23rd Mar 2012, 19:43
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mohikan, of course it was engineered. Block and stall all parties until they had the trigger and the timing was right re the talking down of Int ops. The engineers got pretty much what they asked for which was not outrageous. Once the eba was signed off the sackings commenced and bases will be closed. Settlement will be similar carnage for flight crew and TWU no doubt.
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 20:49
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Grounded: How Alan Joyce brought Qantas and the nation to a standstill

January 24, 2015 - 12:30AM
Matt O'Sullivan

Business Reporter

Qantas check-in at Melbourne airport on October 30, 2011. Photo: Joe Armao

Shortly before 5pm, Alan Joyce took a lift with one of his minders down six floors at Qantas headquarters near Sydney Airport. Once out of the lift, they began the short stroll to where journalists and cameras had been corralled for a hastily arranged media conference to hear an announcement they had only been told was big. Before the Qantas chief executive got to the waiting journalists, a text message was sent to Lyell Strambi's mobile. "We are go," it read. With those words, the die had been cast. There would be no turning back.

About 10 minutes earlier, in anticipation, Strambi, the Qantas head of operations, had set up a conference call with his direct reports. Some of Strambi's executives had written short scripts beforehand to read out to their own managers when the nod was given. With Strambi on one line, his confidants were about to dial into their own conference calls to feed the message down the line. "Alan is going in now. He's made the decision. You now need to go and put in place your plans," one told his direct reports. As the words ricocheted around the organisation, emails began appearing in the inboxes of senior staff outlining what was about to happen and what they needed to do. With the push of a "send" button on a mobile phone, the middle managers had been drawn into the vortex. The chief executive was holding a media conference and in 10 minutes all hell would break loose.

Earlier, on the last Saturday in October 2011, some staff not yet in the know had turned up at Qantas headquarters and at airport terminals in jeans and T-shirts. They had no idea why they had been dragged into the office on a Saturday. For all they knew, the Transport Workers Union was about to launch a strike.

Standing in front of TV cameras, Joyce started reading a prepared speech. "A crisis is unfolding in Qantas," he began. With the unions "trashing our strategy and our brand", Joyce insisted he had no option but to force the issue by locking out staff who were covered by three agreements under negotiation. "Killing Qantas slowly would be a tragedy for Qantas and our employees," he said. It would be 55 sentences into his carefully crafted speech before he uttered the crucial lines. "The lockout makes it necessary for us to ground the fleet," he declared. "We have decided to ground the Qantas international and domestic fleets immediately. I repeat, we are grounding the Qantas fleet now."

Within eight minutes of the start of Joyce's speech, the command to ground the fleet had worked its way to every part of the Qantas operations, from London and Los Angeles to Darwin, Sydney and Perth.
Joyce's decision would disrupt 98,000 passengers already sitting on Qantas planes or who were due to hop on its services over the next few days.

Sydney Airport during the grounding. Photo: Lee Besford

Shocked staff went out into the airports and terminals and did what they had been told. Few read the list of prepared notes detailing what they should do. Time was precious. Staff ensured that passengers disembarked from planes and were sent home or put-up in hotels. In a worst-case scenario, Qantas had expected arguments and fights to start. Travel plans would be thrown into disarray. But mayhem did not break out. Instead staff and passengers appeared so stunned and disbelieving of what was occurring that an air of order was maintained in airport terminals around the country and overseas. People were simply dumbfounded.

At 5:15pm Qantas gave formal orders to couriers to deliver to staff lockout notices. Five minutes later, Qantas phoned a broker to book 2000 hotel rooms in Los Angeles and 800 in Singapore. Shortly afterwards the airline booked accommodation in Australia for stranded passengers. Qantas still had 66 planes in the air. The airline decided not to tell pilots who were flying about the unprecedented events underway on the ground. It deemed it a risk to safety because it believed pilots would be distracted while in the air. Word had a habit of spreading quickly, even at 40,000 feet. Pilots on long-haul flights often tuned into ABC Radio Australia or spoke to pilots of other aircraft ia air-to-air communications. The captain of a 747 flying from Dallas to Brisbane, one of the longest runs in the he world, was listening to the news on Radio Australia in the middle of the night when he heard that his airline had been grounded. Steve Anderson, the captain of the 747 who was also a secretary of the pilots' union, checked in with Qantas' operations control centre in Sydney but was told they had no information to relay to him. This was despite the fact that Qantas had prepared a statement to be read to any pilots who phoned in. The statement confirmed Qantas had been grounded but emphasised that it did not pose a safety risk to their flight. They were told to fly on to their destination where they would be met on arrival and all would be explained.

Earlier in the afternoon, Anthony Albanese has been playing tennis in a social competition at Marrickville in Sydney's inner west. In the middle of the game the federal transport minister got a call at 1:38pm from one of his advisers to say that the Qantas chief executive wanted to speak to him urgently, and to expect a call. The call didn't come. He rang Joyce's mobile at 1:51pm but couldn't get through. "What a time to ring!" Albanese said sternly in a message he left on Joyce's phone.

Four minutes later, Albanese tried again, without any luck. Finally, his mobile rang with Joyce on the other end of the line shortly after 2pm. The Qantas chief executive told him that he would be grounding Australia's largest airline in less than three hours and locking out staff on the following Monday. Albanese told him unequivocally that he thought it was a bad decision. "I reminded him that CHOGM was on in Perth and that if he's going to pick any time to ground the airline, ever, that it would do maximum damage. I said "Why would you do it tonight? People would be stranded. If you are going to do this, why wouldn't you at least give me some notice?" Albanese recalled later. "He was like, the decision has been made. We were being told, not asked."
Working to a prepared script, Joyce told Albanese he was doing it on the basis of safety. He informed the minister that if word leaked, he would ground the fleet immediately.
The government believed Qantas had dumped the problem in its lap to be fixed. Albanese phoned the Treasurer, Wayne Swan, who organised a telephone hook up of key cabinet ministers to determine a course of action. This was a crisis for the government, too.

Before the teleconference, Albanese spoke briefly to Prime Minister Julia Gillard about the government's course of action. As a former industrial relations minster and the architect of the Fair Work Act, Gillard knew the legislation back to front. It was quickly decided to send the dispute to an emergency hearing of the industrial umpire by using Section 424 of the Fair Work Act. To Qantas' dismay, the government had decided against invoking Section 431 of the industrial relations laws, which gave ministers the powers to terminate the dispute immediately. It would have allowed Qantas to keep flying. The government decided Albanese would lead its counterattack later that afternoon. After being given an ultimatum by Qantas, the government believed it needed to get on the front foot or the airline, the opposition and the unions would quickly fill the vacuum.
Later, while Joyce was still speaking at his press conference, Albanese's media minder alerted journalists to a media conference to be held with the transport minster in central Sydney, not far from Qantas' city offices.
Clearly angry, Albanese said he was "very concerned about Qantas' actions of which we were notified only mid-afternoon". In the 1989 pilots strike, the government was able to make contingency plans. It had called in the Royal Australian Air Force and allowed international airlines to fly on domestic routes. This time there was no warning. Australia depended on aviation like almost no other country. Albanese told journalists the government would be making an urgent application to Fair Work to terminate all industrial action at Qantas.

The government accused the Coalition of knowing about the planned grounding and acting in unison with Qantas. Their claims gained credibility when the shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, told the ABC's 7.30 Report that Qantas had been saying "weeks ago" that it was considering a grounding or lockout as an option. A day later, Hockey changed his position.

Joyce had made the biggest gamble of his career. The fact that word of the grounding had not leaked testified to the loyalty of his inner circle. But neither he nor his inner sanctum knew whether the months of planning and strategising would pay off. With a single decision the man with the thick Irish brogue from Dublin's outer suburbs had almost stopped a nation.

After months of unions threatening stoppages, calling them off at the last minute, and in some cases seeing them through, it was Qantas that was taking action. Throughout, Joyce had not shown signs of anxiety or nervousness to his staff. He was cool under pressure.

The question now was whether his extraordinary act would bring the dispute to an abrupt end. More importantly, once the dust settled what would be the final toll?

This is an edited extract from the book Mayday: How warring egos forced Qantas off course by Matt O'Sullivan published by Viking, rrp $32.99. Also available as an ebook.
SMH: Grounded: How Alan Joyce brought Qantas and the nation to a standstill
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 21:14
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One of the bigger egos from this piece, for my money, was the minister's.........

"We were told, not asked". The hide of the man.

Does he really expect private enterprise to 'ask' him if they can make a business decision before it is made, no matter how large? Shows the cut of his jib. A typical bully boy who thinks he has the authority to push business around.

Regardless of what you think of the man, or his actions at that time, it's nice to see that Joyce at least had the balls to punch this bully in the nose, which is often the only way to put a bully in his place.
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Old 23rd Jan 2015, 22:24
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Joyce is a puppet, it was Clifford that had the balls to do it. Joyce was just "given orders"
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 00:04
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Angus & Robertson Synopsis

Power-plays, public spats, strategic blunders, betrayal and revenge: the fall of Qantas has more intrigue and drama than any in-flight movie. How did a national icon become a national liability?

Founded in 1920 by two WWI pilots and a grazier, the 'Flying Kangaroo' is one of the oldest and most respected airlines in the world. Famous for never having lost a jet aircraft in flight, in late 2014 Qantas had a crash of a different kind, recording one of the largest losses in global aviation history. A sequence of crises on the ground and in the air have all taken their toll.

At the centre of the decline has been Alan Joyce, controversially appointed CEO in 2008. His supporters applaud him for tackling problems ignored by his predecessors. His critics accuse him of unconscionable mismanagement and irreversible damage - from ongoing feuds with predecessor Geoff Dixon and Virgin boss John Borghetti (a one-time leadership rival), to a botched bid for government aid, Joyce has had the roughest of rides.

Mayday takes us behind the headlines, to tell the full story of a company at war with itself, and the world. Senior journalist Matt O'Sullivan tells us what was happening on the Qantas executive floor as QF32 threatened to fall from the sky; documents the incredible story of the airline's numerous failed forays into Asia; and reveals the truth behind Joyce's infamous 2011 decision to ground Qantas' entire fleet.
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 00:15
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Regardless of what you think of the man, or his actions at that time, it's nice to see that Joyce at least had the balls to punch this bully in the nose, which is often the only way to put a bully in his place
What an achievement.

Whilst kicking an own goal of epic proportions.
Costing the company millions and millions.
Creating massive brand damage.
Alienating nearly all the staff (which is still costing them).
And pissing off hundreds of thousands of passengers.

Yeah. Good job. He really showed those bullies. !

...oh yeah and he gained so much from the work choices decision. NOT
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 00:15
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Guess it is just a coincidence this puff piece surfaces as JQ pilots discuss PIA.

Do they think the world is completely stupid besides their inner sanctum.
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Old 24th Jan 2015, 00:50
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Do they think the world is completely stupid besides their inner sanctum.
They are at a distance to the real world. Probably surrounded by arse kissers and ladder climbers.
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 12:37
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Originally Posted by ohallen
Guess it is just a coincidence this puff piece surfaces as JQ pilots discuss PIA.

Do they think the world is completely stupid besides their inner sanctum.
Not really a coincidence given O'Sullivan's book was only published this month and he is a regular writer for the SMH. A bit of book promotion I'd say
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Old 25th Jan 2015, 20:12
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"They are at a distance to the real world. Probably surrounded by arse kissers and ladder climbers. "
That's all that are left, he sacked anyone game to disagree or have an alternative view.
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Old 26th Jan 2015, 05:04
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They are at a distance to the real world. Probably surrounded by arse kissers and ladder climbers.
Not forgetting all the d**ky lickers, and c**k suckers. If that is all the integrity that the remaining so called management lot have collectively got amongst themselves, then they probably deserve each other.
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Old 27th Jan 2015, 18:19
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A very entertaining piece from Ben Sandilands on the grounding "Mayday" book,

Grounded: How Qantas CEO Joyce pulled it down with a txt | Plane Talking

It seems the Qantas Angels got themselves in a tizz over nothing, very touchy..

notam, the video starts with a piece on the surcharges
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Old 28th Jan 2015, 04:33
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Qantas Engineering - Simply the Best


Who said Qantas Engineering was dead?

The only problem is that the best Engineers work on the board, and not in the hangar.

What a remarkable turnaround
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