Yesterday Qantas announced a record $1.6B profit and along with all their positive media were comments about a big reward for the loyal staff who helped create this profit….they would all receive a $2000 cash bonus.
Shortly after the announcement we received a call from Qantas representatives to explain the terms of the bonus. The money will only be paid after each group of employees agrees to their second EA beyond the one following the wage freeze announcement. This means any bonus will not be paid for many years in some cases; particularly for Jetstar and Eastern LAMEs (in Tamworth) who are still negotiating the wage freeze Agreements.
We were initially surprised that the Qantas Executives, who will receive their multi-million dollar bonuses immediately, could share so little after the record profit. After some reflection we realized that this contemptuous offering, which is little more than a bribe to accept further substandard Enterprise Agreements, was a declaration of war on 30,000 Qantas Group employees. That sentiment has been shared across many social media platforms in the previous 24 hours and it is clear that this unethical move by Alan Joyce will only strengthen the resolve between all unions and non-management Qantas Group workers.
Qantas unions will meet at 0900 Monday morning with the ACTU and other unions to develop a strategy to fight this unfair decision. Regardless of any outcome of the joint meeting, our members will need to support each other and end this cycle of corporate greed. We understand that all Qantas Group members are working in departments that have been deprived of adequate manpower. Members should no longer go above and beyond to assist an Executive team who neither understand, or respect, the benefits of a professional working relationship with employees. The goodwill is being taken for granted and it must end from today.
The Liberal party have today appointed a new Prime Minister who has been a key government advocate for corporate tax cuts. Another advocate is Alan Joyce; who claims that tax cuts are necessary for Qantas to compete. On our calculations, every dollar saved through the previous wage freeze has been pocketed by Qantas Executives and managers. The battle we collectively face now will be against a government that supports this greed, a battle that will be very public and one that should bring us all together.
The Qantas founders would be ashamed of their airline today.