Over 65 delegates from across the Qantas Group were out in force at the recent ASU Qantas Group National Delegates’ meeting in Melbourne on 25 and 26 August 2015 with delegates from all ports in attendance.
Our meeting opened with 4 delegates from across the group participating in a delegates’ panel talking about what it takes to be a delegate and how they have organised around local issues and won. That was a great way to kick off our discussions of the issues confronting members.
Brendan O’Connor talks IR
We were fortunate to have Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O’Connor address us about the recent Productivity Commission draft report which has recommended cutting penalty rates on Sundays. If the Government is allowed to make this change it would significantly affect airline workers who rely on penalty rates to earn a decent wage and so we must campaign to oppose this.
Campaigning for what we believe in
We also heard from a range of speakers who talked about what it takes to win campaigns. The key messages were being organised, unified and having fun in the process to achieve what you believe in. Reps from the Nurses Union, Textile Union, Trades Hall and the ACTU gave us lots of ideas about how to campaign and win.
Of particular interest was hearing about the ACTU Built a Better Future campaign. Check out some of the activities and materials for this campaign http://www.australianunions.org.au/resourcecentre
We also got an interesting insight into the plight of asylum seekers from the Refugee Rights Advocate at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Pamela Curr which was particularly relevant given the recent publicity on this issue.
Alan Joyce faces delegates
Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce addressed ASU delegates and answered many and varied questions from delegates. There were no holds barred on questions with delegates keen to make sure the Group CEO understood what is happening at the frontline with tough incisive questions about routes, staff cut backs and the pay freeze among the topics covered.
Plan plan plan
With the expiry of Qantas EBA 10 on June 30, 2016, Qantas delegates took the time at the national meeting to plan the timetable for preparations for EBA 11.
We discussed issues to be included on the EBA survey and how we will consult with members about our claim.
The meeting also provided an opportunity for Qantas Freight delegates to get together and talk about what is happening in Freight including domestic freight.
Delegates from airports and telephone sales also were able to talk about the priority concerns in their areas.
Communication will be the key for this EBA 11 and we are looking at new initiatives to ensure members have forums in which to share issues and discuss solutions – keep update on what is happening – watch out for more details.
Time to join the ASU
Your ASU Qantas Group delegates have a lot of work to do over the coming months and they need your help. Now more than ever it is time to be an ASU member be it because of threats to penalty rates from the Federal Government. You can join online at https://www.asu.asn.au/asujoin or get a membership form from your local organiser or delegate.