Dear Dr Wilson
Now that Qantas has resumed normal operations I would like to
update you on what the recent decision by Fair Work Australia
means for you.
I apologise sincerely for any inconvenience that you or your
family experienced during the grounding of the Qantas fleet
between Saturday evening and Monday afternoon.
The decision to lock out some of our employees was an immensely
difficult one and one that I did not want to have to make. But
it was a decision that we were driven to by the industrial
action of three unions, together representing less than 20
percent of Qantas employees.
As of last Friday, industrial action by those unions had forced
the cancellation of hundreds of flights, disrupted 70,000
passengers and cost Qantas $68 million. Two union leaders had
warned that industrial action could continue into next year.
This would have had a devastating effect on our customers, on
all Qantas employees and on the businesses which depend on
On Saturday, I came to the conclusion that this crisis had to
end. I made the decision to proceed with a lock-out, the only
form of protected industrial action available to Qantas under
the Fair Work Act, so that agreement could be reached quickly.
Unfortunately, it was necessary as a precautionary measure to
ground the fleet immediately after the announcement that
a lock-out would take place. While I deeply regret the
short-term impact of the fleet being grounded, following the
Fair Work Australia decision we now have absolute certainty
for our customers. No further industrial action can take place.
No more aircraft will be grounded and no services cancelled as
a result of industrial action.
You can now book Qantas flights with complete confidence. This
is an immeasurably better situation than last Friday, when
Qantas faced the prospect of ongoing disruptions, perhaps for
another 12 months.
We have now moved into 21 days of negotiations with each of
the unions with the assistance of Fair Work Australia. All
parties will be treated equally in order to reach reasonable
agreements. If this cannot happen, binding arbitration will take
place to secure an outcome. We will respect whatever decisions
Regardless of how and when the agreements are reached, the
period of uncertainty and instability for Qantas is over. We
are moving forward and putting this dispute behind us.
Our focus now is on our customers. We want to restore your faith
by returning our on-time performance to its normal high levels,
continuing to invest in new aircraft and lounges and ensuring
the best possible in-flight experience.
The end of industrial action means we can concentrate on what
matters – getting you to your destination on time and in comfort,
offering the best network and frequency of any Australian airline
and rewarding your loyalty as a Qantas Frequent Flyer.
Thank you for your patience and for your continued support
CEO Qantas Airways
- Hey sheep, Joyce is just a scapegoat (thepunch.com.au)
- Gillard slams Qantas over grounding (news.theage.com.au)
- Qantas bookings to improve, analysts say (news.theage.com.au)
- Qantas CEO welcomes government intervention (abtn.co.uk)