Australia, New Zealand & the Pacific Airline and RPT Rumours & News in Australia, enZed and the Pacific


Old 14th Sep 2023, 04:27
  #61 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dragon man
If you want to choke have a read of that.
The non-negotiable business principles are particularly... poignant. It looks like QANTAS management were doing a George Costanza - the opposite.
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 04:35
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In that missive (I’ll be very happy when I don’t have to look at that stomach churning face again) if you substitute the word ‘We’ with ‘You’ it makes a lot more sense.
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 04:59
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to Swingsong & Oriana how nice of you to copy just one small part of my orig post making it look like I was Union bashing. If you had even bothered to read the rest you'd see that I was complimenting them on a job well done on behalf of the sacked workers. You guys are truly why this site has gone downhill, trying to disguise the true sense of my post and attempting to make me out as a Union basher doesn't reflect well on either of you. I really don't care what you think of my views on Unions but the very least you should have done is to include the part where I acknowledged that the Union did a great job on behalf of the sacked members. If complementing them makes me a Union Basher, I hope I never have to meet you in your aviation employment.
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 05:03
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Depends on how you measure and value things. The raw comparisons of just employee wages v outsourced provider contract costs say Qantas is ahead $100M per year. But where do the costs of damage done by incompetent ground staff, the lost goodwill and custom due to baggage ending up in the wrong places etc factor in the calculation? Plus the costs of Federal Court hearing + Full Court of the Federal Court hearing + Special Leave Application to the High Court + High Court hearing for Qantas and the respondents = many, many millions. Plus the yet-to-be determined compensation - another trip to the Federal Court...
Plus the TWU's costs. It's the only time I've thought legal costs aren't thievery.
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 05:08
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Originally Posted by dragon man
If you want to choke have a read of that.
corporate eye wash at its best.
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 05:27
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Originally Posted by dragon man
If you want to choke have a read of that.
I notice the word 'respect' is mentioned on the first couple of pages, was obviously a typo!
Could also title the document along the lines of
The do as i say document but doesnt apply to me & my management team.
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 05:28
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I love this, just sums the place up.Analysis

Qantas court loss not helped by exec’s ‘troublesome’ evidence

The High Court upholding the illegality of Qantas’ sacking 1700 staff may not have gone the airline’s way but that’s because it failed to challenge the key part of the original decision. David Marin-GuzmanWorkplace correspondentSep 13, 2023 – 4.44pm

ShareThe High Court’s decision to uphold the illegality of Qantas’ sacking of 1700 ground-handling staff may not have gone the airline’s way, but it’s unlikely to be a huge obstacle to business outsourcing the jobs of unionised workforces.
That’s because Qantas did not actually attack the central part of the judgment that held it sacked workers to stop them exercising their right of industrial action in upcoming union negotiations. Former Qantas baggage handlers celebrate their High Court win with Labor senator Tony Sheldon and union bosses Michael Kaine and Sally McManus. Alex Ellinghausen Instead, the airline targeted the specific definition of protected workplace rights under the Fair Work Act, arguing such protections did not apply to “future” rights.
If Qantas’ interpretation had succeeded, it could have changed decades of workplace law, narrowing what kind of protections workers can rely on and opening up potential employer gaming of the system.
As High Court justices Michelle Gordon and James Edelman remarked, their position would expose a “considerable gap in the protection afforded” by adverse action law.
Employers would have been able to sack employees to stop them taking annual leave if the worker was in a leave deficit and so had no accruing benefit at the time.
Union members could be retrenched to stop a potential strike, provided they had not yet made an application for a protected action ballot.
But there was little in the act or its predecessor legislation to support such an interpretation.
The judges assured business there was nothing in their reasons to suggest employers can’t consider enterprise bargaining in making decisions about the future – they just could not use it as a reason for adverse action.
High Court Justice Simon Steward even highlighted that Qantas’ original loss on this point - which it did not appeal - was “on the narrowest of grounds”.
In 2021, Qantas told Federal Court Justice Michael Lee the company’s decision to outsource its expensive ground operations was for commercial reasons after “bleeding cash” throughout the pandemic.
But under adverse action laws, employers face a reverse onus. They must provide evidence to rebut the assumption that their reasons did not also include that workers would have exercised their workplace rights.
When Qantas’ senior executives took to the stand, however, their evidence was less than impressive. Former Qantas COO Paul Jones was a key witness in the Federal Court case. Dion Georgopoulos The most damning testimony came from Paul Jones, the one-time Qantas chief operating officer who moved to Virgin in late 2020.
Jones was a key witness. At the time of the outsourcing decision, he was the executive manager of freight and airports and had endorsed the outsourcing move to Qantas domestic chief executive Andrew David.
Justice Lee found Jones’ evidence was “particularly troublesome”, concluding he was “feigning a lack of recollection” and “willing to fashion his evidence to suit what he perceived to be the forensic advantage of his erstwhile employer”.
In particular, during senior management discussions about the outsourcing, Jones had made handwritten notes that read “labour [sic] Gov lock in benefits + open EBA’s 2020 DEC?”
When asked about “open EBA’s 2020 DEC”, an apparent reference to ground-handling agreements expiring at end of the year and so opening up the prospect of strikes, Jones said it was “very relevant” to the airline’s “operational risk” in 2021.
He later denied he believed the risk was workers taking industrial action.
Questioned what he meant by “labour Gov” he repeatedly said he could not recall before suggesting, bizarrely, it might have been a reference to state Labor.
Asked if he had been concerned a future Labor government would bring in laws that would effectively apply site rates – or “same job, same pay” – for labour hire and outsourced staff, and so reduce the cost benefits from outsourcing, he said “so I was aware of that as a possibility”. Later he denied he had been aware at the time.
It wouldn’t be surprising that was what he meant because that’s exactly what happened.
As Transport Workers’ Union national secretary Michael Kaine said on Wednesday, Labor’s Closing Loopholes Bill before the parliament is “designed to close the loophole that Alan Joyce and his management team have opened over a period of 15 years”.
By ensuring labour hire is paid at least the same as the direct workforce, the laws eliminate the incentive for companies to outsource workers “just for a cheaper buck”.
The High Court win is a significant win for the union movement. The future hearings to determine compensation are likely to represent the largest compensation order in the history of adverse action laws.
But its broader application will turn on the specific evidence. The real game is Labor’s labour hire laws, still before parliament.
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 06:10
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Originally Posted by swingswong
If not for unions this kind of thing would be happening more often. Who else is going to push back?

I am a big fan of unions. This is an example
of why.
Worked well for Cathay and Ansett.
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Old 14th Sep 2023, 21:36
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Qantas hits High Court brick wall

The unanimous ruling against the airline is another hit to its reputation, and it can no longer rely on any protection from the traditional cushion of national goodwill towards the flying kangaroo.
Jennifer HewettColumnistSep 13, 2023 – 6.26pm

An ebullient Josh Bornstein, lawyer for the Transport Workers Union, says the case against Qantas isn’t over. But it’s not just the arguments to come over money – both for individual workers and as further corporal punishment to the airline’s bottom line over its illegal behaviour.
The unanimous High Court judgment will cost Qantas even more dearly by further damaging its reputation at the worst possible time. Workplace lawyer Josh Bornstein argues Qantas should negotiate an agreed position on compensation. Simon Schluter CEO Vanessa Hudson has inherited a rolling public relations disaster from the now vanished Alan Joyce, intensifying the pressure on the Qantas board to justify how it allowed this to develop such momentum.
Qantas’ statement on the court’s decision reiterated that its August 2020 decision to outsource the jobs of 1683 baggage handlers and other ground staff was made when borders were closed, lockdowns in place and no COVID-19 vaccine existed.
“The likelihood of a years-long crisis led Qantas to restructure its business to improve its ability to survive and ultimately recover,” it noted. This has certainly worked effectively in saving Qantas over $100 million a year, contributing to its record profit announcement last month of $2.47 billion. But while the grim fears of the pandemic era have been vanquished, the very robustness of Qantas’ financial recovery seems more like a recurring political nightmare. And the likely price of its aggressive cost-cutting behaviour is mounting rapidly into the many hundreds of millions of dollars.
The High Court did note Qantas had “sound commercial reasons” for its outsourcing decision. Unfortunately for the airline, the High Court still agreed with two previous Federal Court rulings that Qantas also had an illegal reason. It found Qantas was attempting to prevent the workforce’s ability to exercise its right to take future industrial action ahead of enterprising bargaining.
In careful wording, Qantas makes no apology for its decision at the time – merely for its impact on individuals.
“As we have said from the beginning, we deeply regret the personal impact the outsourcing decision had on all those affected and we sincerely apologise for that,” its statement said.
This will never satisfy the union movement – understandably celebrating the High Court’s rejection of Qantas’ appeal as a great victory. It will also help the Labor government sell the need to restrict the use of labour hire by companies as part of its industrial relations package currently stalled in the Senate.
The ad campaign from the business community warning against the terrible impact of “same job, same pay” laws will now face an even tougher audience.
The airline’s latest legal humiliation instantly becomes Exhibit A in the court of public opinion, giving union leaders another chance to berate greedy, unfair corporate behaviour against individuals. ACTU secretary Sally McManus promptly called it a “David and Goliath struggle”.
But along with the considerable amounts of money owed them, the apparent legal inability of the sacked workers to also get their jobs back compounds the image of Qantas as a terrible employer.

Not too late

Bornstein argues the airline should now sit down and negotiate an agreed position on compensation, saying it’s not too late despite the airline’s determination to keep fighting over the last three years. A deal would avoid a compensation case in the Federal Court turning into another exercise in damaging stories of individual hardship with Qantas under a new CEO still cast in the role of the Big Meanie. But the union may demand more money than Qantas is willing to pay.
Yet, it can no longer rely on any protection from the traditional cushion of national goodwill towards the flying kangaroo.
Too many accumulated experiences of bad service, high prices, flight cancellations and lost luggage have ripped all that away. The public’s anger became even more inflamed when the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission announced last month it would take Qantas to the Federal Court for allegedly selling flights that were already cancelled.
As the Labor government has recently discovered after its blocking of more flights from Qatar Airways became known, it’s no longer a popular move to be accused of doing Qantas any favours. This issue continues to simmer despite Anthony Albanese’s best efforts to insist there’s “nothing to see here”. The prime minister will be keen to keep his distance from now on.
It also means the Qantas annual general meeting on November 3 risks turning into another debacle on public show just when it’s desperate to escape the media cycle.
Major shareholders may have been as delighted with the profit announcement as Alan Joyce and Vanessa Hudson obviously were – all blind to the problem of reputation. The share price has fallen about 14 per cent since, despite all those high fares leveraging the continued high demand for travel.
Nor is it only unions demanding Joyce’s “obscene” bonuses be rescinded. Millions of Qantas customers can also aggrievedly repeat the figure of $24 million as Joyce’s expected payout. Can the board really ignore community sentiment on this issue too?
Richard Goyder will dismiss union clamour for his resignation as chairman, citing his experience in turning around public antagonism towards Coles when he was CEO of Wesfarmers. He will consider it his duty to stay. But despite continuing to strongly defend the departed CEO’s leadership to the very end, Goyder conceded Joyce’s exit would coincide with a focus on humility and on rebuilding public trust.
Hudson must also promote a change of tone and personal style at the top, including making a virtue of being seen to listen to complaints from airline employees. But her previous role as Joyce’s CFO and his preferred successor suddenly no longer creates the halo effect it once did.
Instead, she needs to strap herself in for a very turbulent end of year flight.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 01:28
  #70 (permalink)  
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It is a train wreck

& you get the sense there is much more to come

I guess Justice Lee has had his CL membership pulled

& news papers pretty thin on the ground in the QF lounge at the moment , maybe they allow the Botswana Times

& I guess all aussie based news is now pulled from IFE.

At least the QF thought control police have made some decent overtime cashola this week

The word is the Darwin bookies are taking money on whether Vanessa & Olivia will be there this time next week
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 01:40
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Originally Posted by pppdrive
to Swingsong & Oriana how nice of you to copy just one small part of my orig post making it look like I was Union bashing. If you had even bothered to read the rest you'd see that I was complimenting them on a job well done on behalf of the sacked workers. You guys are truly why this site has gone downhill, trying to disguise the true sense of my post and attempting to make me out as a Union basher doesn't reflect well on either of you. I really don't care what you think of my views on Unions but the very least you should have done is to include the part where I acknowledged that the Union did a great job on behalf of the sacked members. If complementing them makes me a Union Basher, I hope I never have to meet you in your aviation employment.
No offense intended, it was meant as a generalised 'you' comment. My apologies.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 02:13
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Originally Posted by dragon man
If you want to choke have a read of that.
Strange how Qantas and Jetstar have their values differentiated. I would have thought they'd be the same if you are using group motherhood statements. Qantas' values aren't being "safe and responsible" or "genuinely caring"? Jetstar's aren't being "together" and "experienced"? It is actually ironic that a Qantas value is "together" as long as you are not Jetstar. No wonder the company went down the toilet.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 02:28
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Are we going to amend the bribary & corruption course "do as we say, not as we do".? then they are covered.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 04:38
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This guy puts it very well

"Geoffrey Watson SC, a former counsel assisting the Independent Commission Against Corruption and a director of the Centre for Public Integrity, said politicians and policymakers should turn memberships down.
There are certain positions in life where you cannot take Chairman’s Club membership,” said Watson.
He said those involved in public roles could benefit from sitting with the people they represent.
You’re taking public money for the job and you are supposed to represent the public. Why not sit with them while you’re waiting for a plane?”

Watson said Chairman’s Lounge membership also posed a potential problem if officials or their families receive preferential flight upgrades "

I wonder if the Qantas executives who might have obtained a very significant direct personal financial benefit from this illegal termination , will be keeping their bonus cashola

Perhaps they might donate 1% to Smith Family & give us yet more advice on how to think about the issues of the day . Truly Epic
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 06:07
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‘Not many airlines do such a dumb thing’: how outsourcing took Qantas from soaring to sore

The flying kangaroo's outsourcing frenzy has resulted in subpar maintenance, 'putrid' cabin conditions and poor payment for crew members.


SEP 15, 2023

Give this article
OUTBOUND QANTAS CEO ALAN JOYCE (RIGHT) AND JETSTAR CEO STEPHANIE TULLY (SECOND FROM LEFT) IN FRONT OF QANTAS AND JETSTAR PLANES (IMAGE: AAP/DEAN LEWINS)Over the past decade, Qantas has accelerated outsourcing efforts that have squeezed out its spirit. During COVID it sacked more than 9,000 staff — at least 1,700 of them illegally — sending the jobs to mainly foreign companies and ports.

In the process of its outsourcing frenzy, Qantas sent thousands of Australian jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars to overseas companies, many based in tax havens — such as Zurich, Abu Dhabi and Singapore — some of which have appalling human rights records, such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), that breach Qantas’ code of ethics and its supplier code of conduct.

As Amnesty International has said of the UAE:
The kafala (sponsorship) system tied migrant workers’ visas to their employers, preventing them from changing or leaving employers without permission. Those who left their employers without permission faced punishment for “absconding”, including fines, arrest, detention, and deportation, all without any due process guarantees. Many low-paid migrant workers were acutely vulnerable to forced labor.
The UAE also criminalises same-sex sexual activity. The gender expression of trans people is also criminalised. So much for Qantas wrapping itself in the rainbow flag.
The outsourcing process has denied the Australian government significant company income tax and sales tax revenues, even as Qantas garnered $2.7 billion in COVID-era corporate welfare, and gained protection from the government as it blocked Qatar and Turkish Airlines from providing international competition — all the while bleating about Australian jobs.

“These are jobs here in Australia, they’re Australian jobs,” Alan Joyce said.

Well, some of them are, but certainly not the jobs they used to be, and not all are in Australia.


In engineering, the trend has only been one way — offshore to a wide range of destinations from Dresden to Manila, Abu Dhabi to Singapore, Los Angeles to Hong Kong. In doing so, Qantas has sent jobs and income tax receipts offshore in return for work that is too often subpar, engineers say.

In the early days of the A380 offshore maintenance, Qantas used Lufthansa Technik in Frankfurt and aerospace manufacturer EFW in Dresden, which engineers said completed quality work. However, Qantas then started using Lufthansa Technik in Manila, which engineers described to Crikey as “woeful”, noting the incredible number of issues they had.

“They dropped an A380 engine while removing it, damaging it beyond repair,” one engineer said. Qantas long-haul engines are estimated to cost approximately $25-$40 million. Manilla staff also damaged a trailing edge flap beyond repair, another engineer said.

Any aircraft that came from Manila — A380s, A330s or Boeing 737s — reportedly had issues. Because of this, Qantas wouldn’t allow Manilla staff to remove engines, and instead relied on Sydney engineering to complete the tasks.

Part of the problem with Qantas and its outsourcing of maintenance is that it no longer sends Qantas engineers for oversight — a cost-cutting measure under Joyce, implemented by a manager he handpicked externally who cut maintenance to the bone.

“As of today we still don’t send a LAME [licenced aircraft maintenance engineer] who is qualified on the aircraft to oversee the maintenance,” one engineer told Crikey. “A dumb move; not many airlines do such a dumb thing.”

Cabin maintenance

Engineers described cabins on all Qantas aircraft as “putrid and in need of a lot of TLC”, and filthy compared to other operators. Passengers who travelled on Qantas this week who spoke to Crikey also attested to this.
“The current model is to let the cabin defects pile up on long-haul aircraft and then have them fixed in Singapore or Los Angeles,” pilots and engineers said. But this very often doesn’t happen and the list keeps on growing. Premium seats are often blocked out because of disrepair or inability to recline properly, one pilot told Crikey.

The national carrier previously had a department in Sydney with 100+ engineers who did nothing but cabin work. That department was closed down when COVID hit, company sources said.

“Supply chain issues are a minor part of it, the major part is we had a maintenance system in place to handle the cabins and we had people who were experienced in all the fiddly cabin work and now we don’t,” an engineer said.

Engineers said that many cabin defects are not airworthiness items, so they can be deferred indefinitely.

Pilots and engineers sheet the blame to “outsourcing the daily cleaning to the cheapest supplier”. There are a lot of new cleaners with Emirates working for companies like Cabin Services Australia, another Emirates subsidiary that sits in the cosy, protected Qantas/Emirates ecosystem.

“They are new immigrants, they are treated like crap and worked to the bone,” one insider said.

Flight attendants

One less visible outsourcing program at Qantas has been the steady drift of flight attendant jobs offshore in the airline’s international arm Qantas International, as well as its low-cost carrier Jetstar. The group now runs multiple crews in offshore entities and local labour-hire companies.

In Australia, the game is also about the long-term cutting down of hourly rates for full-time employees, but also the casualisation of much of the cabin crew workforce.

Jetstar leads the way in terms of egregious pay. Jetstar International pays $26.39 per hour to permanent employees, but the company no longer hires into this group. These workers are denied promotional opportunities, as management favours offshore and crew from Team Jetstar, a newer entity on lower pay and more limited conditions.

As of March 2023, all new employees in Jetstar cabins are hired by contractor Maurice Alexander Management at $30.35 per hour. Despite these workers being classified as casual hires, the employment restrictions resemble permanent employment without the benefit of annual leave and sick leave, unions report.

But Jetstar’s offshore crew takes the biggest hit. The friendly and efficient Thai crew who staff the flights to Phuket — and are also sent elsewhere in Asia, including Japan — are paid $2 per hour, and Singapore crew are paid $6 per hour, unions said. At Qantas, mainline cabin crew are similarly sliced and diced, with UK and New Zealand-based crews being the worst paid.

Freight and ground staff service operators

At Sydney’s Qantas Freight facility, there are six different employers, each with different pay and conditions despite freight service operators doing the same jobs. In other states, Qantas uses a similar model, mixing businesses and labour hire to offer workers different pay and conditions for doing exactly the same jobs.

In 2012, Qantas acquired Australian Air Express (AAE), which helped run its freight facilities. The agreement in place at AAE said labour-hire workers must be paid the same rates s directly hired employees and a number of other clauses meant to protect all employees. Qantas, by moving the workers into the Qantas Freight facility, found a loophole in the labour-hire protections in the AAE agreement. This allowed it to introduce its lower-paying subsidiary Qantas Ground Services, and increasingly hire casual labour workers on wages comparable to the relevant award.

AAE has approximately 95% full-time staff on good pay and conditions, and Qantas Ground Services is 95% part-time with lower pay and conditions. But insecure workers who make up an increasing proportion of that workforce at the three labour-hire companies are only paid at basic award rates and conditions, usually as casuals, the Transport Workers’ Union has said.

The overall picture is both unedifying and depressing. Locally Qantas is moving more of its staff — even regular cabin crew — to employment by labour-hire companies on lower pay and conditions. And in sending skilled labour in its engineering group offshore, Qantas is single-handedly running down Australia’s skills base and capacity to service aircraft.

None of this would seem to fit in, at all, with the Albanese government’s stated policy goals. Over to you, Catherine King and Tony Burke
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 06:47
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Engineers described cabins on all Qantas aircraft as “putrid and in need of a lot of TLC”, and filthy compared to other operators
Not a good look to pax when cabin furnishings are amiss, flew PanAm transpac when it was on its last legs, 747 cabin was held together with 100m/h tape. Do I recall a QF aircraft coming back from overseas maintenance with staples holding electrical bits together? Ah, yes, though seems some doubt as to whether it was overseas maintenance.

Poor Qantas repairs spark grounding call
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 09:23
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The Qantas CEO’s job just got even harder

“Mind-boggling” is how one company director describes the extent to which the airline has “burnt” staff and customer loyalty.Sally PattenBOSS editorSep 15, 2023 – 4.09pm

ShareThis week Vanessa Hudson’s job got even harder.
In addition to upgrading an ageing Qantas Airways fleet, facing potential fines of as much as $250 million related to allegations it sold tickets on thousands of cancelled flights and a decision to scrap the expiry date on $570 million of flight credits, the new-broom chief executive might also have to pay out up to $200 million after the airline was found to have illegally sacked 1700 workers. Vanessa Hudson’s prediction that last year’s bumper $2.5 billion pre-tax profit was “not as good as it gets” looks optimistic. And all this while Hudson, the carrier’s former chief financial officer, must restore the nation’s trust in the airline, which is likely to come with a sizeable bill.
Arguably, it makes Hudson’s prediction on August 23 that last year’s bumper $2.5 billion pre-tax profit was “not as good as it gets” look optimistic, at least in the short term.
“Qantas had a record profit, but at what cost?” says Vas Kolesnikoff, the head of Australia and New Zealand research at Institutional Shareholder Services, a shareholder advisory firm.
It is hard to overestimate the level of public fury at the country’s national carrier. Frequent flight cancellations, difficulty in using flight credits, interminably long call centre waiting times and a refusal to accept responsibility forinconveniencing customers are among the tribulations faced – and complained loudly about – by the travelling public.

A nation outraged

“Mind-boggling” is how one senior company director describes the revelation that between May and July last year Qantas sold seats on more than 8000 flights that had already been cancelled.
The director uses the same word to describe the extent to which the airline has “burnt” staff and customer loyalty. Even worse for Hudson, the outrage extends to Australians who don’t even fly, argues a leadership expert.
Given Qantas’ role as the national carrier, even though it is a publicly listed company, people have come to regard Qantas as a true-blue Aussie company that represents the country’s values of honesty, fair play and reliability, the leadership expert says.
Now, he says, Australians feel their values have been trashed.
Fixing the reputation issues will come at a cost. Reducing flight cancellations might mean flying planes with fewer passengers. Reducing call centre waiting times will mean hiring more staff. Lowering airfares will hit the top line directly. Compensating customers who have been inconvenienced and left out of pocket for flight changes will also cost.
These hits to the bottom line are on top of potential penalties facing Qantas for breaching the Fair Work Act for illegally sacking workers, and engaging in deceptive and misleading conduct, as is alleged by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The question facing Hudson is: how broken is Qantas?

Break from the past

Can she fix the problems incrementally, or will she need to announce a more drastic turnaround plan with a warning to shareholders that profits will suffer for a few years? This will mean distancing herself from former, and much unloved, CEO Alan Joyce, with whom Hudson has worked closely for many years and whose praises she sang in a video to staff earlier this month. Qantas chief Alan Joyce departed the company prematurely. Bloomberg As one board adviser says: “Does she continue her alignment to the past and do incremental improvement, or call it out as a bigger problem that needs a bigger turnaround in relationships with all stakeholders? That probably means calling down the forecasts.”
Views are mixed.
Some believe Hudson’s appointment of Boston Consulting Group to help repair its fractious relationship with customers is a sign that she is willing, or indeed looking, to take the tough call.
“It surprises me that a customer organisation doesn’t know what the issues are,” Kolesnikoff says.
The sub-text is that Hudson will be able to use BCG as a cover. She can blame the need for a huge turnaround on the management consulting firm, saying she has little choice but to warn shareholders of financial pain to come as she invests to improve services.
The narrative could go something like: “This is a three-year turnaround. There will be three years of additional costs but we have to fix the company. Sorry, but you might not see great returns for a while.”
It would be a bold move. Even though pointing the finger at BCG would cushion the break Hudson would be making from her predecessor, it would still be tough.
“It’s a big call,” says one leadership expert.

Selling short

There are insiders who believe Hudson has the courage to do it. She certainly has the money to do so. Even though she is set to incur higher costs and has already lost out on revenues from unclaimed flight credits which were due to be booked in the current financial year, the company is clearly generating bucketloads of cash, which will soften the blow to investors.
At least one asset manager seems to think Qantas will take this route.
This week, The Australian Financial Review reported that Totus Capital, a long-short hedge fund that manages about $210 million of assets, has shorted Qantas shares on the expectation the company could face mounting costs as it upgrades its fleets, remediates customers, has less flexibility to cancel flights and is due to face stiffer competition.
Totus portfolio manager Ben McGarry drew similarities to AMP, which faced years of regulatory scrutiny, higher costs and brand damage after its decades of strong profit ended.
Others argue BCG’s appointment was merely an attempt by Hudson to get an outside opinion and comes with no ulterior motive.
The directors won’t want to distance themselves from the Joyce regime, given they oversaw it, and as a former CFO, Hudson also has to own the airline’s performance.
“I doubt she will do it,” says the leadership expert.
A shareholder adviser adds: “Getting an alternative point of view is a good move. It’s probably not an escape route.”
Regardless, time is not on Hudson’s side. Some believe she has six months to show she has identified and acknowledged the problems, established a strategy to fix them and produce some signs that services are improving.
“Within six months she needs to demonstrate she is trustworthy,” says a leadership expert.
Winning back the trust of customers is not Qantas’ only challenge. Well away from airports, in the glass towers of the country’s capital cities, there is disbelief over the governance of the company.
Senior company directors point to the failure to invest in the fleet over many years while conducting share buybacks, allowing Joyce to sell shares about a month before the company’s financial year-end and granting him $10.8 million in shares under a pandemic-era retention scheme and for long-term bonuses from 2020, 2021 and 2022, which he had previously deferred.
The granting of the shares was made after the ACCC started its investigation into the cancellation of flights.
Given where the airline is now, one senior director reckons that “at a minimum there needs to be a significant remuneration penalty for Joyce.” Others say wholesale board renewal is required to break from the past.
“There is an expectation boards are accountable,” Kolesnikoff says. “There has to be accountability for what’s going on.”
Some take the view that means chairman Richard Goyder needs to announce his retirement. Others say he could be justified for hanging around while Hudson settles into her new role.
Given Qantas’ troubles, it might be a good time to appoint directors with airline experience to the table. Among the nine non-executive directors, only two – Antony Tyler and Doug Parker – have airline experience. Two – Maxine Brenner and Jacqueline Hey – have been there for more than a decade
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 10:10
  #78 (permalink)  
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As Joe Aston said:
Sitting in Vanessa Hudson’s in-tray [is] the world’s largest, overflowing sick bag.
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Old 15th Sep 2023, 11:36
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Originally Posted by Lead Balloon
As Joe Aston said:
A lot of it is her Vomit
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 10:07
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Oriana I appreciate your reply, thanks. Paul
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