Qantas engineers’ union, the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia (APESMA) voted to extend a ban on overtime work to during the four day Easter long weekend (1800 on 01-Apr-2010 to 0600 on 06-Apr-2010) (AAP/The Courier-Mail, 31-Mar-2010). The union stated it could not guarantee flights will operate to schedule over the period as a result. The strike is over concerns of the overnight and weekend assignment of Qantas managers to cover engineers. Qantas stated (31-Mar-2010) the industrial action would have no impact on its operations or passengers. [more]
Qantas: “This union has been taking sporadic industrial action since late 2009. It has continually tried to undermine passenger confidence in Qantas, including before the Christmas and New Year holidays in 2009. On each occasion, its claims that our customers’ travel plans would be disrupted have proved incorrect. Professional engineers number around 190 in our total engineering workforce of 5700. We have more than sufficient engineering expertise, and contingency plans in place, to cover for any action initiated by APESMA. It is disappointing that APESMA continues to use these scare tactics against Qantas. The suggestion that safety will be compromised by the action is untrue and irresponsible.Our customers can travel with confidence over the Easter period – and safety, as always, will be our first priority. The real issue in this dispute is APESMA’s unreasonable pay claim of 18% over three years. We remain committed to negotiating a solution, but will not be influenced by union scaremongering,” David Epstein, Executive Government and Corporate Affairs. Source: Qantas, 31-Mar-2010.