28-Jun-2011 7:56 AM

Qantas engineers union announces strike

Qantas has (23-Jun-2011) been notified by the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) that union members will take industrial action as part of an ongoing dispute over pay and conditions. Qantas' Group Executive Operations, Lyell Strambi, said the airline was assessing the impact of rolling two-hour work stoppages by line maintenance engineers in Melbourne from Monday 04-Jul and a ban on overtime for the foreseeable future. Mr Strambi said union leaders had shown their "true colours" by calling industrial action over a school holiday period and then "making a blatantly cynical offer for Qantas licenced engineers who are on strike to return to work for four times their normal pay". Mr Strambi said Qantas could not agree with the union’s unreasonable and excessive demands including their wage claim and demands that there be no change to current work practices which improve efficiencies and productivity. “We want to reach a fair and reasonable negotiated outcome with our workers but we just cannot accept union demands for a veto on change which would damage Qantas, restrict our business and jeopardise the jobs of their members and all other Qantas employees,” he said. [more]

Qantas: “No Australian company would pay staff four times their normal rate to go on strike. What incentive would the union have to reach an agreement with workers earning more money while on strike? If the union is serious about not disrupting the travel plans of Australians then they should call off the strikes immediately. This reckless action comes on the day that Qantas normal flight operations have resumed and Qantas passengers are finally getting to their destinations following the disruptions caused by the volcanic ash from the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Volcano in Chile. This has caused disruptions and delays to more than 200,000 Qantas Group passengers over the past two weeks, costing the Group AUD21 million for the first week of cancellations alone." Lyell Strambi, Group Executive Operations. Source: Qantas, 28-Jun-2011.

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