For months now the unions have been playing games with Qantas. The national airline was subjected to ‘on again off again flights’. Workers would turn up to work and announce that they were going on strike for an hour or so. This sort of mucking around and disruption by the employees caused many delays and inconveniences for Qantas. And it certainly was causing problems for passengers.
An airline must be able to provide a consistent timetable for connecting flights. But the employees of Qantas did not care about that. They kept on pushing the company to the limit.
Could this go on indefinitely? No company can survive with such blackmailing tactics. Whatever their demands, the employees should have have been prepared to either go on strike totally until Fair Work Australia got involved or continue to work on the days they drew a salary.
Sick of this screwing around by the unions, Qantas called their bluff. Yes, many passengers were inconvenienced yesterday and will be today as well, but the action by CEO Alan Joyce got results. Let’s hope that now they can sort the problem out in a mature fashion.
Times change and with it come changes. Employees in the airline industry has to accept change or more jobs will be lost. It’s called adapting to the present.
As for criticism that Qantas should have given notice that it will ground its fleet, there was a legitimate reason for not doing so. Just as in businesses which have to make certain that a disgruntled or dismissed employee does not interfere with computers etc. Qantas had to ensure that in the heat of the moment some mischief could not be done to its planes. It only takes one hothead to do that sort of damage. That is why Joyce is talking about safety in euphemistic terms.