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Qantas terminates long haul cabin crew agreement, demands more flexibility

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Qantas terminates long haul cabin crew agreement, demands more flexibility

Old 7th Feb 2022, 20:39
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Touché. Post was 60 minutes to early.
Still my previous stands, AJ will not be seen to give an inch at any cost. We are still on an expired EA because they didn’t give an inch in fact now they’re making way more off us than any reduction in terms they sought. The FA have a fight and best be prepared to look for alternate employment or just get on with it.
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Old 7th Feb 2022, 23:13
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Unfortunately for them, flight attendants are relatively easy to replace. The time from off the street to operational isn't that long and the training isn't that expensive, particularly when compared to pilots and engineers. There is no shortage of applicants for what is still seen as an exciting and glamorous job which will be fun for a few years until moving onto something else.
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 02:00
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They won’t be easy to replace if a large number leave at once, just as the ramp up begins.

let’s not understate how much easier an operation is with well trained and experienced crew, particularly when you have ex nurses/paramedics/police etc in the cabin crew role.

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Old 8th Feb 2022, 09:44
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Originally Posted by cloudsurfng
They won’t be easy to replace if a large number leave at once, just as the ramp up begins.

let’s not understate how much easier an operation is with well trained and experienced crew, particularly when you have ex nurses/paramedics/police etc in the cabin crew role.
I absolutely appreciate how much easier a day out it makes with those kind of folk down the back - nothing better than having a a former nurse or police officer back there! Unfortunately however, the company doesn't value that kind of experience.
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 12:11
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They couldn’t care less. Look what they did with Jetstar 787 CC over the years. If you think all the local crews who have all been recently trained on the 787 are staying put, forget it.

They will probably bring in those contractors like Altera and so on in the QF case.
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 19:18
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Interesting timing

On around the 11th Jan they advertised for Cabin crew positions on one of the new lower paid contracts, not 10 days later they are applying to Fair Work to have this EA cancelled.

Hmm, sounds like a bit of a plan in place?
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 22:05
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let’s not understate how much easier an operation is with well trained and experienced crew, particularly when you have ex nurses/paramedics/police etc in the cabin crew role.
I don’t think any PILOTS would disagree with that statement but the people in air conditioned offices who work Mon - Fri 9-5 and have their public holidays at home only manage what they can measure. They cannot measure how “easy” the day goes. Perhaps delay codes would be visible but that is all.
This seems to me to be a well timed play for a sea change in cabin crew conditions. They seem happy to roll the dice figuring that they can have new cabin crew trained and on line in about a month.
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Old 8th Feb 2022, 22:33
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This is all fine but the industry as a whole needs to stop pushing the safety first barrow when it is clear the focus is purely on cost. I’d love to be proven wrong but everything I can remember of late has been cost focused regardless of the negative effect on safety. Low morale is a killer and this has obviously not been factored into the war on staff.
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Old 9th Feb 2022, 03:02
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Originally Posted by Roj approved
On around the 11th Jan they advertised for Cabin crew positions on one of the new lower paid contracts, not 10 days later they are applying to Fair Work to have this EA cancelled.

Hmm, sounds like a bit of a plan in place?
Somebody in the know so to speak may be able to verify if this is true but i have been told that FA's on some of the latest contracts or EA's earn about $30/hour,the push by the company wants that reduced to around $22/hour.
If this is correct why would anybody even consider becoming an FA? There are so many positions in cafes/restaurants right now paying more than that & w/end work attracts penalties & there are no jetlag issues or phone calls telling u to show up for work the next morning at 5am or whatever time they suddenly dream up.
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Old 9th Feb 2022, 06:24
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I have a friend on the 717 at Cobham/Airlink/NJS/whatever they call themselves these days, tells me that their cabin crew hired in the last 5 years are Altara full time employees (not QF group employees). Their 5 week ground school is unpaid, where they share a hotel room with a stranger. They make about $47k base and a tiny hourly allowance while on duty. In the Canberra 717 base, parking isn't provided for cabin crew, they have to pay $100+/month, unsure about the other cabin crew bases.

So now that most of their operation is based in SYD/MEL/CBR, the three highest cost of living cities in the country the FAs are resigning and at last count, had a roughly equal number of tech crew and cabin crew, on an aircraft that crews 2 pilots/3 cabin crew. Altara has won the contract to supply 737 casuals now apparently, taking over the old MAM contract? Just in case anyone was wondering about where conditions could go.
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Old 9th Feb 2022, 06:45
  #171 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by BravoSierraLima
I have a friend on the 717 at Cobham/Airlink/NJS/whatever they call themselves these days, tells me that their cabin crew hired in the last 5 years are Altara full time employees (not QF group employees). Their 5 week ground school is unpaid, where they share a hotel room with a stranger. They make about $47k base and a tiny hourly allowance while on duty. In the Canberra 717 base, parking isn't provided for cabin crew, they have to pay $100+/month, unsure about the other cabin crew bases.

So now that most of their operation is based in SYD/MEL/CBR, the three highest cost of living cities in the country the FAs are resigning and at last count, had a roughly equal number of tech crew and cabin crew, on an aircraft that crews 2 pilots/3 cabin crew. Altara has won the contract to supply 737 casuals now apparently, taking over the old MAM contract? Just in case anyone was wondering about where conditions could go.
They are NJS now, thank god Cobham are out of the picture according to most. As for Altara, anecdotally they are not a good employer, cabin crew exist under terrible employment conditions with virtually no rights, a pathetic salary and no support. DO NOT let these conditions in, go and stack shelves at Coles! Better still do a job that society needs and is not subject to constant erosion.
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Old 9th Feb 2022, 07:59
  #172 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by gordonfvckingramsay
They are NJS now, thank god Cobham are out of the picture according to most. As for Altara, anecdotally they are not a good employer, cabin crew exist under terrible employment conditions with virtually no rights, a pathetic salary and no support. DO NOT let these conditions in, go and stack shelves at Coles! Better still do a job that society needs and is not subject to constant erosion.
It was always NJS. Cobham owned NJS, now Qantas does.

Apparently Qantas have been slowing getting rid of the expensive NJS cabin crew by closing the bases that had the most of them and only employing Altara crew at the new bases. Darwin, Perth and Cairns had cabin crew who were working for NJS flying Qantas (Airlink) domestic services before Qantas had a domestic arm. 30+ years flying the same passengers to Alice Springs/Paraburdoo/Broome ect. Greeting the regular pax by name like they’re old friends. Very few relocated when the bases were closed as they had deep roots. Now the pax get to enjoy a 21 year old talking about how their friends got Covid from licking the floor at Monsoons…
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Old 9th Feb 2022, 08:58
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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If you look at Virgin Cabin Crew EA
  • They started bargaining in 2018
  • Virgin was in dire financial peril losing $380m in one year
  • Virgin went insolvent and into administration.
  • thousands made redundant at Virgin including all of Tiger
  • hundreds of meetings took place with Virgin and union with no result over many many years
Both Virgin and the TWU etc asked for mediation from FWA Australia. Yes Virgin have said they may apply to terminate if an agreement can’t be reached however:
  • The Judge has recommended a negotiated agreement that is far ahead of the minimum award
  • The TWU has recommended voting on the agreement that is far ahead of the Minimum award
  • the commissioner complimented both parties on the conduct of subsequent negotiations
Qantas isn’t insolvent as was the case with Virgin. The redundancy issue is also different. Termination is not the only option. FWA, Virgin and the TWU have all recommended a newly negotiated package which is far superior to the minimum award.
Qantas position is not the same to that at Virgin. It will also be interesting to see how it unfolds as the Omicron wanes, the borders open up, and the economy starts surging ahead. Not to mention the political pressure.
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Old 9th Feb 2022, 18:07
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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And at the ports, https://www.actu.org.au/actu-media/m...-wages-in-half
Patrick Terminals have applied to the Fair Work Commission to terminate its existing enterprise agreement, a move which would cut the pay, conditions and job security of dock workers. If the company succeeds, workers face a staggering 50 per cent wage cut.

Dock workers have been working rolling shifts, 24 hours a day, seven days a week through the pandemic, and recent data from NSW Ports showed an 18.37 per cent increase in containers put through the port in the 12 months to September 2021.

Over the last year, profit margins in the shipping industry as a whole have increased by 11 percentage points to 20.8 per cent, and Patricks have increased their Terminal Access Charges by an average of 55 per cent across their four Australian ports. At the same time Patrick workers have seen an effective wage freeze for 2 years.

Qube – which owns Patricks, has enjoyed a steady 3.3 per cent increase in revenue every year for the five years leading to 2021.

This company – which has the vocal support of the Morrison Government – is using the pandemic as cover to attempt to slash the wages and conditions of workers
Then, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/202.../patr-f08.html

The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) yesterday announced it had reached an “in-principle agreement” with Patrick Terminals, which Patrick workers should reject.

The “11th-hour” union-management deal was brokered ahead of a Fair Work Commission (FWC) hearing on Patrick’s bid to terminate the existing enterprise agreement (EA) covering the company’s more than 1,000 workers in the ports of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Fremantle.
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Old 10th Feb 2022, 04:50
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The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) yesterday announced it had reached an “in-principle agreement” with Patrick Terminals, which Patrick workers should reject.
Interesting.
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Old 13th Feb 2022, 12:48
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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Qantas terminates long haul cabin crew agreement, demands more flexibility

I'm guessing they would like 56 day trips like NZ crew can do, or the fact that they can call crew on last day of standby and go right through their designated days off without mutual agreement........ What kind of life could anyone possibly plan with such 'rules'. So much for "Fairwork". Without any resemblance of 'fair', this will only go one way and she ain't pretty. Time the journalists starting exposing the 'Spirit of Australia' that Joyce really exhibits
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Old 17th Feb 2022, 03:01
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Don’t know if this has been posted elsewhere, but have not seen this laundry list discussed within this thread.

As an outsider QF communications have always struck me as disingenuous, often contorting and slaloming to conveniently skirt components that don’t fit their narrative.

If anyone has the knowledge and can be bothered to review to dissect and rebut it would be greatly appreciated. Publicly accessible parts of FAAA and TWU do not make any reference to this QF communication.
Attached Files
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 11:53
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Originally Posted by Australopithecus
CamelSquadron is a paid shill…one of the “angels”. He or she only ever pipes up when the troops get restless and start voicing dissatisfaction with the EBA or Qantas executive remuneration.

As for Australian labour costs…what do you expect in one of the highest cost countries in the world? Its hard to pay those pesky ingrates less money when they insist on such luxuries as food and shelter.
Its the standard accusation whenever somone posts a dose of reality that the spoilt whiners dont like.

As for costs, it is circular. Wages go up, so costs go up. Australia is one of the highest cost countries because we have amongst the highest wages.

Its a big generalistion but with the current industrial relations system, if one group gets X%, everyone else expects X%. So costs go up across the board. The way to get ahead is to be more efficient and share the benefis of that increased efficiency. But staff dont want to be more efficient and QF doesnt want to share any efficiency gains with staff - creating little goodwill between both sides.

You are working in an industry that is very mature, low margin and highly competitive for an employer that has no protection from lower cost international competitors. You cannot ignore this reality.
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 12:36
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Originally Posted by Derfred
The demise of the Australian car industry is commonly blamed on Unions and Australian wages in general.

That is not particularly true.

This guy sums it up pretty well when he notes the early 2000’s mining boom and it’s impact on doubling the value of the Australian Dollar:



He goes on to say:



The reality for automotive production in Australia was that the domestic market was too small to be efficient. The only way to make it efficient was to produce more vehicles, and the only way to do that was to have a large export market - and the resources boom caused the dollar to rise which made exports unviable.

We had our moments in a potential export market. I knew a few people involved in Holden - in the early 2000’s, the Monaro, for example, was exported and was becoming a bit of a hit overseas (in various names - I think it was a Vauxhall in the UK, a Pontiac in the USA, and a Chevy in the ME, but it was an Aussie Monaro, and it was well liked. The Top Gear guys loved it.)

When you compete in a highly competitive industry in which you don’t have the advantage of low cost labour, you must compete in other ways, such as producing an awesome vehicle, like the Monaro was. The Germans obviously learned that trick early - don’t be the cheapest, just be the best. That exact argument translates to Qantas. They can’t compete internationally on cost, so don’t try. They need another selling point. High quality cabin service, particularly in the premium cabin, is something they should be prepared to pay for. That goes a little bit further than training an 18yo to ask “do you want fries with that?”.

Government subsidies are also a red-herring for the car industry arguments. This article from 2013 compared Australian subsidies to other countries. Germany subsidised at the time about 67% of our rate, and the USA about 150%. But the key metric is number of vehicles produced (and, I guess, exported - subsidies make more sense when they support national exports, that’s why we don’t even blink when subsidising mining). Germany had 3 times our population but manufactured 25 times the number of vehicles - obviously a net exporter of vehicles. German automotive employees are well paid, and their government continues to be happy to subsidise their industry.

The total Australian car industry government subsidy was around $400M/year during the decade prior to its demise. (If you had asked the average punter on the street at the time they would often have thought it was a lot more than that). We were producing about 200,000 vehicles per year, so about $2000 per car. They took most of that straight back in stamp duty at point of sale anyway. We were recently outlaying more than that per week just by doubling the dole during COVID (1.6M Jobseekers at an extra $250 odd per week). That alone over a year would have paid for 50 years of car industry support. Qantas spends nearly half that annually in it’s “marketing” budget.

That kind of puts Australia’s attitude towards car manufacturing into perspective.

It wasn’t killing the taxpayer to support the car industry, it was just that the Government decided in its wisdom that it didn’t want to do it any more. Pulling the $400M was enough to make the remaining automotive players in Australia pull out, with devastating effects on all the support and small parts manufacturing in the country.

That move apparently cost about 20,000 Australian jobs across the industry. $400M divided by 20,000 jobs is $20K per job. Given that, on average, each of those workers would probably have been paying $20K tax, they killed an industry for close to zero gain/loss on the books for the Nation.

The high ranking Government employees love it, because whilst they previously had to be chauffeured around in $70K Holdens by Government decree, now they get $400K Mercs and BMW’s because they no longer have to “buy Australian”. Even the coppers are now chasing me down the freeway in a BMW rather than a Holden, although, quite frankly, I think most of them would still prefer a Holden. Please allow me a gratuitous Blues Brothers quote: ‘It's got a cop motor, a 440 cubic inch plant, it's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas.”

Regardless, our Government has done its sums on manufacturing in general and decided that we are not the country for that.

We only really have 2 export industries that we do well:

1. Digging holes and sending the ore-rich diggings off-shore on foreign-owned ships;
2. Food production (planting seeds and grazing animals).

Our secondary export industries that we do well are:

3. Tourism - which we destroyed during COVID by not letting them come here; and
4. Tertiary Education - which we destroyed during COVID by not letting them come here.

(Ironically, Scomo pretty much ignored both those industries while he was writing cheques during COVID. For example, University staff were deliberately disqualified from JobKeeper because sometimes they go on to become ABC journalists).

But, the automotive industry, along with any other manufacturing we dabbled with, was never on the above list. And reducing minimum wage would not change that. What it would do, is destroy the local economy, as many punters would no longer have expendable cash to keep the local economy pumping. Be careful what you wish for.
Not to mention that both Holden and Ford had been building poor quality products for quite some time - with engineering shortcuts being taken and a global parts procurement process that prioritised lowest cost ahead of quality and ahead of correctly fitting parts. Add that they were building products that customers no longer wanted. Their customers had moved away from sedans to SUV's and Utes. No competitive business will survive if it doesnt build what its customers want. Another important factor is they were all foreign owned and there was little appetite from the owners to invest in completely new products to be built in Australia or to be innovative in Australia for many reasons. The writing was on the wall for the car industry.

We now have ultra low 4% unemployment with a shortage of staff in many industries. This is a weakness in QF's position. If it pushes too hard, it will lose its best staff to other industries/competitors leaving only the deadwood behind and it may even face a staff shortage. This can bring companies undone - losing the undervalued high performing staff whilst retaining the underperforming deadwood - but this doesnt happen overnight.

Last edited by CamelSquadron; 23rd Feb 2022 at 12:49.
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Old 23rd Feb 2022, 20:10
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CamelSquadron
We now have ultra low 4% unemployment with a shortage of staff in many industries. This is a weakness in QF's position. If it pushes too hard, it will lose its best staff to other industries/competitors leaving only the deadwood behind and it may even face a staff shortage. This can bring companies undone - losing the undervalued high performing staff whilst retaining the underperforming deadwood - but this doesnt happen overnight.
This is precisely what has happened on the Sydney rail network over the last few years.

Sydney Trains is one of the lowest-paying rail operators in the country, whose employees live in one of the most expensive cities in the country so a great many of them get a start there, get their qualifications and then move on, either to regional freight, or to the Pilbara operators doing a 2/2 roster on nearly double the salary. ST don't like recruiting for new Driver's as it leaves them exposed to the question "Why are you always recruiting? Why can't you retain staff?" In turn, ST becomes reliant on the remaining crew doing OT to cover the roster, and when those crew decide they don't want to do that OT anymore, the network collapses. The same thing happened in 2004, it just goes to show management never learn from their mistakes.

QF would do well to learn from the mistakes of others and offer a carrot to entice crew to become cross-qualified rather than taking a massive stick to their workforce.
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