Allan Joyce’s move to ground the entire Qantas fleet today was an inevitable attempt to break the backs of trade unionist reactionaries. As a Qantas shareholder I am dismayed at the current outcome but, as Qantas has not paid dividends for a couple of years, I support attempts to force the airline to gain competitiveness and staying power. Having pilots paid up to $500,000 – the average is $350,000 – annually is inconsistent with this task and the attempts by maintenance engineers and pilots to trash the Qantas brand suggest that the best outcome for these clowns is to be sacked and then sued. Ungracious, overpaid pilots who lie to me about their employer when I travel on their airline arouse nothing within me but contempt. When a firm is losing $2m per day because of a strike the fact that the CEO is paid $5m per year is irrelevant. He is worth $20m if he can give these reactionary trade unionists the kick up the backside they so richly deserve. Qantas sells air services as an internationally traded good and international travellers are voting with their feet to support other airlines which offer cheaper and better quality service. Domestic air services in Australia remain expensive and the service is anything but great. The Australian travelling public deserve better and Australia needs a viable international carrier not a sheltered workshop.
Already the Labor politicians are shaking in their boots at Joyce’s move because it is hardly a good look for the Labor Government but reading Joyce’s press release I support it. The Government should keep out of this one. Qantas will fail without decisive action and, even though this might cost me money, I’d prefer to see this fight resolved now – it offers the best prospect for competitiveness reforms. Pilots, engineers, baggage handlers – accept the need for reform or find yourself new jobs. As the Qantas AGM showed you have no support among shareholders and the travelling public will see you for the contemptible grasping reactionaries that you are. That you attacked the customer base of Qantas as a negotiating tactic should never be forgotten.
Update Qantas management wins. After two days back to work with further strike action outlawed.