In the lead up to Christmas, Qantas management has decided to announce a profit downgrade to the stock market signalling too that over the next 12 months 1000 positions will go from the Qantas group.
As is always the case with media releases, there is no detail about the jobs/positions that are being targeted and so staff are left just to wonder what is planned, particularly with Christmas just around the corner. Call us cynical but the timing of these announcements must have a lot to do with the lobbying that is happening in Canberra at present. That is not to say that we should not take this announcement seriously but it must be viewed through the prism of what is happening politically now and also how we have seen management operate in the past.
What we do know is that if management is going to embark on redundancies then they both have an obligation to consult the ASU and they have a duty to mitigate the job losses for those individuals targeted. It is worth remembering that Clause 54.2 of ASU EBA 10 provides that:
“54.2. Before implementing compulsory redundancy Qantas will investigate, provide information to and consult with the ASU on the following options:
(a) Redeployment to another position and opportunity for “job swaps” where there is a reasonable skill and location match;
(b) Employees taking extended leave and exhausting accumulated leave;
(c) Employees taking periods of unpaid leave;
(d) Full-time employees converting to part-time;
(e) Full-time employees converting to job share; and
(f) A process of expressions of interest in which a suitable number of volunteers may be found.
These options may be investigated concurrently.”
If there is talk of redundancies in your area make sure you contact your ASU delegate straight away.
We have been through many downturns in the economic cycle and shocks to the airline industry and that is why we have specific clauses in the EBA 10 to deal with such circumstances, we know how important work is to Qantas staff and so we will always be about fighting for the jobs of our members.
What is next?
A while back the ACTU organised for all the Qantas unions to meet the Qantas executive group on 18th December to discuss the business – obviously the focus of this meeting now will be this recent announcement. We will report back to members after this meeting if there are developments and we will also keep you posted if there are other briefings in the meantime.