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"Qantas pilots lose union president after year of turbulence"

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"Qantas pilots lose union president after year of turbulence"

Old 28th Dec 2021, 21:26
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"Qantas pilots lose union president after year of turbulence"

Qantas pilots lose union president after year of turbulence

The Qantas pilots’ union has punted its president for the second time since the Covid crisis erupted in early 2020.

Captain Murray Butt was reappointed as the Australian and International Pilots Association president in January, 2021, after previously holding the post from 2016 to 2018.

He replaced Boeing 737 pilot Mark Sedgman, who oversaw negotiations for new long haul and short haul agreements in 2019 and 2020 but struck turbulence when the pandemic took hold.

With hundreds of pilots made redundant and many more stood down, Captain Butt was part of a group made up of mostly A380 pilots who sought to gain control of AIPA’s powerful committee of management (CoM).

When Mr Sedgman’s executive team learned of plans to replace them, they resigned en masse, but Captain Butt’s tenure was to be short-lived.

Despite guiding AIPA through a difficult year with hundreds of pilots remaining stood down and working secondary jobs, Captain Butt was not re-elected to the CoM.

His replacement will not be appointed until the next scheduled meeting of the committee in February.

He would not comment on the shock election outcome on Tuesday, but it’s understood there were some misgivings among AIPA members about the disproportionate number of A380 pilots on the executive.

One pilot who spoke to The Australian on the condition of anonymity, said there was a sense that the AIPA had become more combative than collaborative with Qantas.

He said there had been too much time and energy spent exploring legal avenues against stand downs, instead of addressing issues such as the effect of long stints of isolation enforced upon pilots who continued to work through the pandemic.

“Hopefully with a committee that represents the fleet more broadly, we will get better representation,” said the pilot.

Qantas has 12 A380s in its fleet, of which two are being retired, 11 Boeing 787s, 28 A330s and 80 737s.

In coming years, the 737 fleet will be replaced with narrow body jets from the Airbus A320neo family and smaller A220s.

The shift would mean new enterprise agreements for pilots making the jump from 737s to A321XLRs as part of what Qantas called Project Winton.

Any negotiations could be undermined by turbulence within AIPA which suffered another blow earlier in the year, after losing the exclusive right to represent Qantas pilots.

The Fair Work Commission ruling found AIPA did not necessarily offer better representation than the Australian Federation of Air Pilots which hailed the judgment as a major victory.

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/bus...9dc882cf845662
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Old 28th Dec 2021, 23:27
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“Sedgman” FFS. You’d think it wouldn’t be too hard to at least get the bloke’s name right. Yet again, when journos can’t even do the basic easy stuff properly, how are we supposed to believe anything else they write?
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 00:08
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As for "Mr/Ms anonymity" regarding comments of the union's combative approach, that is a natural consequence given the purpose of unions is to protect it's members and fight for better pay and improved working conditions. Albeit there are sycophants in the pilot community, I consider those comments were fabricated by some fledgling journalist looking to bulk up a report. "One pilot who spoke to The Australian on the condition of anonymity....." or was it really a cabaret dancer or plumber pretending to be a pilot? The one circumstance that will ensure delivery of reduced wages and working conditions for the employee group is division amongst themselves.
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 01:20
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One pilot who spoke to The Australian on the condition of anonymity, said there was a sense that the AIPA had become more combative than collaborative with Qantas.
From a few conversations I've had, I'd suggest there's probably quite a few who believe exactly the opposite. There's quite a few out there that believe AIPA have been too compliant and not combative enough, especially when it came to prolonged and indefinite stand-down.
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 02:36
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Originally Posted by C441 View Post
From a few conversations I've had, I'd suggest there's probably quite a few who believe exactly the opposite. There's quite a few out there that believe AIPA have been too compliant and not combative enough, especially when it came to prolonged and indefinite stand-down.
did the same conversations indicate why they didn't vote? No use in supporting the incumbent and then letting him be voted out. No one else to blame.
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 02:39
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Although I am long time retired, I would imagine that when dealing with a worm like Joyce you would need to be combative as there is no depth to the lengths he would go to so as to make sure his salary, bonuses and other tidbits remain safe. Grounding international operations rings a bell. You fight fire with fire. Better to die on your feet than on your knees.
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 03:18
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Originally Posted by Paragraph377 View Post
Better to die on your feet than on your knees.


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Old 29th Dec 2021, 04:43
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Hey, why don’t you post the salary package from say…Delta. Or American. As I recall US ALPA negotiated their pay as well as the strike the cartoon mischaracterised. A strike that took place over 32 years ago. Plus Lorenzo dearly deserved a strike, only by an A-10
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 05:00
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Originally Posted by SandyPalms View Post
did the same conversations indicate why they didn't vote? No use in supporting the incumbent and then letting him be voted out. No one else to blame.
Most of those conversations came before the vote.

I'm not privy to whether they voted or not or who they may have voted for, but just as the lone pilot contacted for the article suggested some felt the recent CoM were too combative, others felt they weren't combative enough. Either way, a perceived inadequacy in dealing with the stand-downs in particular, would not be particularly conductive to re-election of those responsible for those dealings.

Better to die on your feet than on your knees.
Missed a word: Better to die on your feet than live on your knees. (As quoted by Midnight Oil and, no doubt many before them….)

Last edited by C441; 29th Dec 2021 at 05:10.
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 05:24
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The members haven’t even received any communication from AIPA informing us of the results of the election yet.
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 06:44
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Originally Posted by C441 View Post
From a few conversations I've had, I'd suggest there's probably quite a few who believe exactly the opposite. There's quite a few out there that believe AIPA have been too compliant and not combative enough, especially when it came to prolonged and indefinite stand-down.
As much as some may disagree the stand downs were never going to be legally ended, especially after the ALAEA lost their case in October 2020. Too little industrial help was given to actively employed pilots undergoing the hardships of forced quarantine. Any minor improvements to alleviate stresses of forced quarantine that were gained were almost always because of the lobbying of individual groups of pilots working in conjunction with management, seemingly without union assistance. Isn’t that why we pay our dues?

It’s a different world now, anyone trying to keep the unrealistic conditions from the past is just going to send flying elsewhere in the current environment. As seen with the EBAs which secured the 787 and A350 the pilot group as a whole are willing to agree to still good deals in order to secure flying, and I don’t think, beyond a very small vocal minority, there’s any appetite to “shove it up the company’s backside” ala Eastern Airlines circa 1989.

Need realistic union representation for the real world, and realistic ambitions to ensure new types are flown by mainline pilots.

Last edited by dr dre; 29th Dec 2021 at 09:27.
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 08:43
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I once heard if you want (perceived) glamour, enormous legal accountability, intense scrutiny, never ending attacks on your employment conditions and be treated with contempt for relatively mediocre pay and conditions then become a plane driver. If you don't need the glamour and want good pay and conditions become a train driver. (train drivers have the intelligence to know the value of standing together)
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 22:02
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You are obviously not old enough to remember Bernie Willingale then.
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 23:05
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WW I am old enough not to remember everything. Was he involved with the railway union? Would you elaborate?
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Old 29th Dec 2021, 23:43
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He was the union leader for the train drivers union in NSW when Neville Wran was Premier.
He was always leading the train drivers who obviously stood together on all sorts of strikes and stoppage.
Wran decided that he had had enough and and cleaned them up. Bernie was never heard of again and nor was their union.
Maybe that is where Hawke took his lead from in 1989?
Maybe also Joyce in 2011? Don’t hear much of Steve and the AALEA or Sheldon and the TWU these days. They got cleaned up too.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 04:28
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If you don't need the glamour and want good pay and conditions become a train driver. (train drivers have the intelligence to know the value of standing together)
Well that's not going to last much longer as you are being automated out which won't be happening in aviation any time soon if at all.

As for that Australian article sounds like the author is trying to suck up to QF management. Maybe a bit of quid pro quo for his next piece. Given how long AIPA has been a extension of QF management it's amusing that the author is suggesting AIPA is to combative.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 04:49
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Originally Posted by neville_nobody View Post
Given how long AIPA has been a extension of QF management it's amusing that the author is suggesting AIPA is to combative.
If that is the perception, then perhaps that is where AIPA needs to spend some effort communicating with members. I believe there were some agreements made by the AIPA President in the early 2000s with QF that the Committee did not believe they had given agreement/approval to, but apart from that I don't believe the perception has been reality for at least the last 20 years or so.
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 20:52
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“Sedgman” FFS. You’d think it wouldn’t be too hard to at least get the bloke’s name right.
I wonder if Robyn Ironside browsed on PPRuNe for any response to her article as the former President's name has name been corrected in the article.

Given how long AIPA has been a extension of QF management it's amusing that the author is suggesting AIPA is to combative.
I'm not sure the author is suggesting that, rather one pilot she spoke to indicated that as their belief.
"One pilot who spoke to The Australian on the condition of anonymity, said there was a sense that the AIPA had become more combative than collaborative with Qantas."
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 23:20
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My post above may not have been clear about what I part of the quoted text I was responding to. I was responding specifically to the statement that AIPA was an extension of Qantas management.
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Old 31st Dec 2021, 01:39
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Wouldn’t it be nice if Qantas management viewed pilots as a valuable part of their organisation, as an important cog in the safety wheel, as a valuable asset that they invest heavily in? But nah, management are too stupid, too combative and too arrogant to see that the pilot group are a section of employees that are skilled, talented and integral to the safe operation and the longevity of the airline. Narcissists like Joyce sadly think that the CEO is the litmus test for a great organisation. Ha. Hardly. Most CEO’s are quite simply bottom feeding parasites that are slippery shysters who you wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire.
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