In the wake of its recently announced $1.6 billion record profit, Qantas’ attempt to link the payment of a $2000 ‘bonus’ to workers to the signing of new enterprise agreements has fallen flat across the Qantas workforce.
A meeting of Qantas unions convened by the ACTU in Sydney today has heard of widespread anger amongst workers who have slammed this latest offer that would see the payment made only after the first post-wage freeze agreement is signed off. Under these arrangements many workers could wait for years to receive the payment.
Thousands of Qantas workers endured a pay freeze that was imposed by the company across successive enterprise agreements dating back to 2014. Since then, the company’s profitability has soared to last week’s record levels. Senior executive salary packages have also grown; the 2017 annual report putting the value of senior executive packages at $53 million.
In light of these latest developments the Qantas Unions will be consulting closely with their members about the next steps and ACTU will be writing to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce setting out workers’ concerns and urging a rethink this announcement.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:
‘It is only through the dedication and effort of the Qantas workforce that we have seen the airline lift its financial performance. Qantas had an opportunity to recognise these efforts and the sacrifices that their workers have made. Instead it chose to make the payment depend on workers signing up to workplace agreements years down the track.
‘Workers are asking if this is a real bonus for past performance or just another tactic designed to influence future bargaining outcomes.’
‘When companies perform well, workers deserve their fair share.’
‘We need a fairer bargaining system that delivers for working people.’
‘Australia needs a pay rise. Qantas workers need a pay rise.’