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Old 21st May 2022, 00:38
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QF Industrial Tactics

Hold Steady” in a Volatile Industrial Relations Environment



Over the pandemic we have witnessed a ruthless approach from many aviation companies. For example, Qantas has unlawfully sacked its baggage handlers, forced the entirety of the long-haul cabin crew onto a B-scale (under the threat of terminating their agreement) and continue to resist efforts by Express Freighters Australia pilots to get a new agreement which simply meets the Air Pilot Award 2020.



In addition to seeking foreign crew, over the pandemic Alliance Airlines (Alliance) also tried to secretly push through a below-Award agreement on the E190, have denied career progression to their own F100 pilots and even apply training bonds to E190 pilots who join the company already type-rated on the E190.



Regional Express (Rex) has also recently taken a concerning approach to the renegotiation of the Saab agreement and the new B737 agreement despite the reasonable offers and measured approach of the AFAP Rex negotiating team.



Qantas has recently announced a strong profit forecast ($450-$550 million for the second half of the current financial year) and a large and ambitious fleet replacement program. Qantas bought National Jet Systems (NJS) at the start of the pandemic and recently announced plans to buy Alliance.



Just as it appears that the worst of the pandemic is over, some aviation companies are desperately trying to extract the final cost savings while their perceived window of opportunity remains open.



Qantas is currently taking an extremely hard-line approach to its industrial relations. At present Qantas is asking its short haul pilots and the NJS pilots to give away hard-earned conditions in exchange for no wage increases. The threat is that it will provide the incoming aircraft (in this case A321-XLRs and A220s) to another group.



Qantas is also fiercely prosecuting their latest group wages policy (amended over the pandemic) of a two-year wage freeze followed by 2% annual increases. This is in the face of 5.1% inflation and before a possible change of government. Alliance and Rex are taking similarly hard-line approaches, demanding concessions and/or threatening job security. These approaches are opportunistic and will not be sustainable post-pandemic, especially as the demand for experienced pilots increases.



We urge all members to think carefully before giving away hard-earned conditions. Once lost, these conditions can be extremely difficult to regain. There can of course be situations where making concessions is the rational and best course of action. These occasions are rare and only occur when faced with a genuine reason and/or credible threat. In the current context, members need to determine whether threats of giving new aircraft to another pilot group is credible or if it is simply a cynical and opportunistic tactic by the Qantas Industrial Relations Department before the pandemic is over.



Right now, Jetstar has grown its pilot resources above pre-pandemic levels and has large training requirements, Network is under enormous training pressures and is having to allow its seconded pilots to return elsewhere in the group, Alliance Airlines cannot maintain crew on its E190 and the QantasLink Dash-8 operation is recruiting strongly and planning for high levels of attrition.



There is also the question of how much the redundancy liability would be if the A321 was not used to replace the B737 at Qantas short haul and the A220 was not used to replace the B717 at NJS. That is before considering our response and the possible legal implications of such a move by Qantas.



Right now, Australian pilots need to “hold steady”. Be rational and measured. Do not be rattled by the desperate and opportunistic threats (veiled or not) by various aviation employers. Carefully consider whether their threats are credible. Listen to your AFAP pilot representatives and speak to our experienced industrial and legal staff.



We will keep you posted on developments.



Yours sincerely



Simon Lutton

Executive Director

Australian Federation of Air Pilots

Last edited by Jet Jockey; 21st May 2022 at 02:02.
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Old 21st May 2022, 02:30
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Simon neglects to refer to the less than satisfactory EA AFAP recommended to us at VA NB. Yeah Simon where are those 80hr RP'S. Barely making 40hrs. Just great thanks AFAP.

What about the threat of modern award from VA. Not to mention the virtuous clause "no redundancy until Dec 22"

AFAP knew Bain was leveraging covid to screw negotiations in their favour and folded badly, to believe VA would give 69+ per RP. Better not mention Tims project CMS😂. That is looooong overdue.



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Old 21st May 2022, 02:49
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Originally Posted by -41 View Post
Simon neglects to refer to the less than satisfactory EA AFAP recommended to us at VA NB. Yeah Simon where are those 80hr RP'S. Barely making 40hrs. Just great thanks AFAP.

What about the threat of modern award from VA. Not to mention the virtuous clause "no redundancy until Dec 22"

AFAP knew Bain was leveraging covid to screw negotiations in their favour and folded badly, to believe VA would give 69+ per RP. Better not mention Tims project CMS😂. That is looooong overdue.



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And if you say anything on the AFAP forum you are SHOT DOWN by all and sundry. As you mention, where was Simon's concern during the VA EA negotiations? Very close to leaving and finding someone else to represent me that is NOT AFAP or VIPA.

I was actually disgusted by Simon's email to be honest. A HUGE slap in the face for those of us at VA.
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Old 21st May 2022, 02:57
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I watched on the VA forum as those whom warned it was a poor deal got dealt with by the Afap.

The same afap that signs NDA's then announces hey boys and girls guess where them 700's are going.

Yeah nah, no thanks AFAP you screwed us mid listers and below on the 737 NB EA. So much for the clause no nb pilot will be displaced by WB pilots made redundant. The hypocrisy of these guys in AFAP, doing deals to put us on low mCg then getting their WB mates hired back on FULL COMMAND SALARY. Whilst midlisters and below where SLWOP .


Do not take IR advice from AFAP.
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Old 21st May 2022, 04:03
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"members need to determine whether threats of giving new aircraft to another pilot group is credible..."

Isn't this what the members pay their thousands in membership fees for? Some advice beyond just being told to conisder things?

What a cop out. Seems like an easy way of avoiding any responsiblity if the members get their conisderation "wrong".
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Old 21st May 2022, 04:12
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Be not concerned, when the EA turns to custard and your making less coin, the AFAP will make it clear to the company how taken advantage of YOU feel under the deal AFAP recommended.

Total cop out by the AFAP on the NB EA.
we are nowhere near the same income levels and they continue to rehire then give flying away to a subsidiary.

" We also highlighted the impact of how the announcement will be felt across VAA (and particularly in the Perth base) given average Credit Hours available to current VAA Pilots had not reached previous income levels. We reinforced that Pilots feel taken advantage of out of the EA and that if the business is not utisling the VAA Pilots fully, seeing B737 aircraft go to VARA which provide greater capacity to absorb VAA RPT flying, will only exacerbate this issue."
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Old 21st May 2022, 04:14
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The same organisation that warns us not to entertain E3 employment in the US. Where terms are improving.
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Old 21st May 2022, 08:06
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I got my hopes up when I saw another email from the AFAP... maybe this is the follow up that Louise promised...what the Feds are going to do about it...

Nope. Simons email just tells us everything we already know, then says don't take a haircut from the Qantas group.

Is that what I pay 1% of my salary for? For the union to say don't get scared into accepting worse conditions to keep my job?

How about Simon tells us what the AFAP are doing to actually protect our terms and conditions. A good start would be to tell us what legal action they are taking against those employers out there who aren't even prepared to follow the provisions of the Fair Work Act and enter into EA bargaining with the union who are there to 'represent' their members.

Pretty pathetic and disappointing. Hoping there's something more concrete coming...and stupid me just renewed by MBF LOL, about the only reason I stay with these losers.
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Old 21st May 2022, 08:44
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Originally Posted by -41 View Post
I watched on the VA forum as those whom warned it was a poor deal got dealt with by the Afap.

The same afap that signs NDA's then announces hey boys and girls guess where them 700's are going.

Yeah nah, no thanks AFAP you screwed us mid listers and below on the 737 NB EA. So much for the clause no nb pilot will be displaced by WB pilots made redundant. The hypocrisy of these guys in AFAP, doing deals to put us on low mCg then getting their WB mates hired back on FULL COMMAND SALARY. Whilst midlisters and below where SLWOP .


Do not take IR advice from AFAP.
Just a fraction bitter there -41!! And you never even lost your job during COVID……amazing. Im sorry but I cannot let your untruths and general ‘woe is me’ be left without a response. I have looked on as NB FOs (not all mind you, just a noisy few) either on prrune or the afap forums have thrown all sorts of loud opinions around as to how ‘their commands’ are getting stolen from them or delayed into the future. Let me itemise a few replies to your many posts in this thread.

1. Its called Seniority as established by the GDOJ. This list, as written into law by the NB EBA (and was in the WB and ATR ebas) governs things such as promotion, base transfers, REDUNDANCY and RE-EMPLOYMENT. NO NB pilot had been displaced by a returning WB pilot. They have retained their position on the GDOJ in their rank and base while pilots MORE SENIOR have taken a position that befits their seniority as established by the GDOJ. Full stop. End of story. Probably the only reason why you and other mid-bottom FOs were emoloyed in the first place onto the 737 is BECAUSE there was a widebody fleet that sucked pilots off of the 737. So you cant have your cake and eat it too.

2. You have remained continuously employed, getting jobkeeper/half pay/75% pay/now full mcg pay the whole way through COVID. You have not had to change base, sell your house, move your family, try and find another flying job where none existed, had to explain to your partner that you are unemployed and have zero other qualifications other than a pilots licence in order to earn income. To say that ‘you have been screwed over’ is laughable and offensive. Try saying that to an ATR pilots face who had in WRITING a letter from VA stating that they would be afforded a position on the 737 that would be held for them as long as they remain on the ATR fleet in a training and checking role for a number of months/years. Then see the company crabwalk away from that letter as soon as the fleet is binned.

3. ‘Give flying away to a subsidiary’ - would these be intra-WA routes by any chance? These routes were flown by Skywest/VARA before being ‘given’ to VAA originally when they purchased/took over Skywest! Probably before you were even employed by VAA! So again, your assertion that the F100 replacement aircraft are taking away ‘your flying’ and ‘your command’ is once again laughable and devoid of fact.

4. If you want a strong Union (and I am by no means an afap apologist here, merely trying to insert some facts into this conversation) then you need to get off your behind and actually do something about it. Pilots in this country are so happy to whinge how bad they have it and how conditions are so shit, and yet in the next breath say ‘im quitting the Union, they are useless’. All the while we get more fractured, divided and at each other, instead of being ‘at’ the Company/s.

The biggest problem Australian pilots have is an apathy towards being united and actually sticking it to the company. The Union doesnt determine your Ts and Cs, the pilot group does by voting on an agreement that has been presented to them by the Company. Rather than just keyboard-warrioring on here, why dont you pick up the phone, call your pilot rep and actually tell them what you are after in a constructive way. See if there are ways you can bring your colleagues along with you and before too long you have a critical mass that will drive the agenda.

the letter might have missed the mark slightly but it doesnt deserve to be pilloried like it is….
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Old 21st May 2022, 09:35
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I Agree with the above,
Im on the VA GDOJ still awaiting my return, I don't believe that anyone is being unfairly treated in the return of pilots. In due time those higher up the list will obtain a CMD and will make more room for the returning members.
Too little pilots see, It's been tough out in the real world finding employment outside of the aviation world. Even now trying to step back in a flying role is tough. Two years without flying and 10 thousand hours, not many people want you.
I would consider myself lucky to be still in the seat at VA in any capacity.
Previous years going through industrial action at Australia's largest independent airline, senior and junior pilots all talked the talked but when needed to walk, they all went too quiet(Really disappointing) some even came to work and financiallygained when others refused to come into work for stop work actions .
I considered everyone in the act of action to protect what we had now and new pilots to the group, even tho my life long career wasn't at that airline.
Pilots need to start taking more action for everyone sake, otherwise your voice is just pointless.
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Old 21st May 2022, 10:47
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Ah Simon,

Whinging after the fact.

So what have the AFAP been doing for the last 33 years then?

Taking union fees, for efectively nothing whilst parrading as a relevant union. I remember conducting a circling approach into Baghdad whilst..... never mind.

Your mob has never regained any credibility since your " Shining moment ".

MCD
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Old 21st May 2022, 11:12
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Originally Posted by ManillaChillaDilla View Post
Ah Simon,

Whinging after the fact.

So what have the AFAP been doing for the last 33 years then?

Taking union fees, for efectively nothing whilst parrading as a relevant union. I remember conducting a circling approach into Baghdad whilst..... never mind.

Your mob has never regained any credibility since your " Shining moment ".

MCD
Genuine Q - Why do you boomers always sign off with your initials/username? Are you that narcissistic?
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Old 21st May 2022, 12:30
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AFAP only wishes to expand its subscription base.


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Old 21st May 2022, 12:46
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Originally Posted by -41 View Post
​​​​​​you must be a delight to do 4 sectors with.

You get to have your cake and eat it, get paid out have a separation from the group due to what is called a redundancy. Then somehow because you chose to fly the WB those that joined after you to fly the 737 are less deserving of a opportunity.

Run along, probably the same cohort that whinged and whined about the base balancing when those junior to you on light jet got a BNE base.

Nah you go enjoy what you have earned.

its more than just a small vocal minority of FO's that have this opinion. Like i would bother with the AFAP forum.

Afap only cares about expanding their subscription base.
You seem to think it’s only people on the first 5 pages of the seniority list who got made redundant. There were many pilots who were not wide body pilots who also got made redundant. These pilots did not receive large pay outs and and are still waiting for a their chance to return.

The junior fo’s who are whinging about their hardship are more than welcome to hand in their resignation. No one is stopping them from moving to greener pastures since VA is such a tough slog for them.

When there was a threat of redundancies on the 737 there wasn’t any objection from the junior fo’s in regards to the agreement to allow pilots a return of service for 7 years. All of a sudden, that threat disappears and the oh so entitled junior fo’s are screaming ‘Dey tuk our jerbs’. How convenient.

Try losing your livelihood, your house, your family and all certainty in life. A bit of perspective would do you some good.

Last edited by Red69; 21st May 2022 at 22:06.
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Old 22nd May 2022, 01:38
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Originally Posted by aseriesofleftturns View Post
Genuine Q - Why do you boomers always sign off with your initials/username? Are you that narcissistic?

Its simply a more formal way to end a post/ statement. It also implies that you are taking responsibility for what you have written. Start by googling " personal responsibility".

Narcissism has absolutely nothing to do with it.

Whinning about ever degrading conditions from a union body unable to effect real change for its members for a VERY long time stopped making sense decades ago.

I hope that answered your " Q ".

MCD
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Old 22nd May 2022, 02:30
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The union movement across all industries around the world have the same problem,
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Old 25th May 2022, 02:57
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Neither Union has a snowflakes chance in hell of stopping Q doing exactly what Q wants to do, any thoughts to the contrary are delusional. It has been so for decades, sad but true. Just a bit of bravado from SL, he ain’t got nuttin to back it up.
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Old 25th May 2022, 03:07
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Originally Posted by gamma69 View Post
I Agree with the above,
Im on the VA GDOJ still awaiting my return, I don't believe that anyone is being unfairly treated in the return of pilots. In due time those higher up the list will obtain a CMD and will make more room for the returning members.
Too little pilots see, It's been tough out in the real world finding employment outside of the aviation world. Even now trying to step back in a flying role is tough. Two years without flying and 10 thousand hours, not many people want you.
I would consider myself lucky to be still in the seat at VA in any capacity.
Previous years going through industrial action at Australia's largest independent airline, senior and junior pilots all talked the talked but when needed to walk, they all went too quiet(Really disappointing) some even came to work and financiallygained when others refused to come into work for stop work actions .
I considered everyone in the act of action to protect what we had now and new pilots to the group, even tho my life long career wasn't at that airline.
Pilots need to start taking more action for everyone sake, otherwise your voice is just pointless.
I really think those days are gone, I noticed some pretty poor behaviour during the pandemic from a select few, however it’s every man for himself these days.

The worst I witnessed was widebody crews trying to do people like me, on a narrow body, out of my job. A group approached the union over that very matter. I have been here for xx years longer vs you have, I want my command back which I gave you when I left to go fly bigger toys. Nobody forced you to take an upgrade, I declined. One bloke told another captain here, to his face that he should be demoted back to FO from his recent command so he could get his old job back. We have no hope with snakes like this around the traps.
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Old 25th May 2022, 04:57
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Just to clarify Virgin Blue pilots labelling each other snakes, what was the seniority policy of moving on to a wide body ?
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Old 25th May 2022, 11:19
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I dont think Poppajo works for VA. Unfortunately though there are snakes in every business, more so in aviation I reckon.

VA has a deed of return (which a number did not know existed) for WB as well as Tiger and ATR crews to return to the NB fleet. Very smart of the VA WB crew to have something like that.

I dont think the returns have managed to get down the list to Tiger or ATR yet unfortunately.

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