Today the ALAEA lodged ballot applications with the Fair Work Commission for LAMEs at three Qantas Group airlines. In the coming weeks the AEC will conduct postal ballots as members consider this move. The applications were made to break the negotiation stalemates. This does not mean we are taking industrial action; it means we may be able to if the ballots succeed. In order to do so, at least half of the ALAEA members at each airline must vote, and the majority must be in favour. Successful outcomes will enable more meaningful negotiation.
The ballot questions are similar. This is the Network version:
Do you, for the purpose of supporting or advancing claims for a proposed Enterprise Agreement with Network Turbine Services Pty Ltd, authorise the taking of protected industrial action in the form of:
- Work stoppages up to 12 hours in length
- Overtime bans
to be taken singularly, separately, concurrently, indefinitely and/or consecutively as determined by the ALAEA Federal Secretary over the remaining period of negotiation for a Network Turbine Services Pty Ltd Enterprise Agreement?
Yes [ ] No [ ]
The next step is for the FWC to consider the applications then pass the work to the AEC. They will conduct a postal ballot that would be open for about 4 weeks. We held a social media chat yesterday about these things that can be downloaded from this link:
ALAEA members who are not financial, will not be able to participate in the process. LAMEs who are not in the ALAEA will not be able to either. If you recently changed your postal address or think the ALAEA may have an old one on record, please call us this week. We must supply an accurate list to the AEC.
It is unfortunate we must take this step. Our members have endured stand downs, and in most cases years since a wage increase. In our view it is unfair that overpaid managers are telling us that worker wage growth should stagnate as the price of everything increases. We are sick of hearing about the ‘group wages policy’. This is nothing more than an ambit claim designed to take what we are owed and redirect it to Qantas Executives and others who are running an airline that is barely running. Our choice is to do nothing or trying something. If we wait any longer, we fear the airline may seek orders to place LAMEs back to Award wages, as they did with Flight Attendants. The step we have taken is both defensive and proactive.
By voting in favour, you will place the recently announced (and in some cases well overdue) bonuses at risk. Members say they are not fooled by this underhanded trick. One off bonuses are one off. Wage increases are real, flow to super, and build remuneration progressively. Members are angry at the greed shown by the managers who seem to have little restraint when considering their own positions. Qantas has become a joke in the press. The Qantas Board should focus on reparation and not support a management team that increasingly focusses on harming employees.
No matter which of the airlines you work for, now is not the time to go beyond your contracted obligations to help them. For example, Qantas have an EA claim of their own to allow rosters without the necessary supporting ballots. Despite not offering anything at the EA table, they seem to think they can get members to deliver their ‘no ballot’ roster outcome anyway. They want ‘volunteers’ in Sydney to move to a special 12-hour roster. This roster is not approved, and we do not recommend anyone move to it unless it is properly negotiated and approved by the vote process contained in the current EA. It is a time to unite, not drive wedges between each other.
I will be taking six weeks leave from Friday. ALAEA Assistant Federal Secretary Peter Gill will act as Federal Secretary over that period. He will oversee the ballot process and hopefully do a fair job convincing members to vote yes. I will not be far away and will be available at short notice if anything urgent presents. I am due to return around the time the PIA ballots should conclude.
Click here to access noticeNotice_008_2022_Jetstar, Network and Qantas PIA ballots