In one of three ongoing disputes between the Qantas Airways and its workers, the airline reached an agreement with its main engineers union – the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA).
Qantas Airways ended its industrial dispute with aircraft engineers as both parties reached a contract deal agreeing to a 3 per cent annual wage hike for the next three years. The Flying Kangaroo’s proposed agreement with the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA) covers around 1,600 licensed aircraft maintenance engineers.
The airline and the ALAEA presented the agreement proposal to labour umpire Fair Work Australia today.
Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said the airline is happy that an accord had finally been reached.
“After such a damaging industrial campaign, this is a positive outcome that will allow Qantas to move forward with certainty,” Mr Joyce was quoted in the airline’s media release.
“The proposal submitted to Fair Work Australia is a good deal for Qantas and its licenced engineers. However, it does not contain any of the restrictive demands that would have handed control of parts of the airline to the union.
“Throughout the negotiation process, we have been willing to offer reasonable pay increases and conditions – provided the union withdraw its attempts to influence how Qantas is run.
“This deal was achievable nine months ago, without the pain for customers and for employees across the wider Qantas business,” Mr Joyce said further.
The airline’s deal with ALAEA includes a three per cent pay hike in exchange for allowing Qantas Airways to bring in new work practices such as a new license category. The union also dropped its demand for construction of a new hangar for Airbus A380s.
The agreement would put an end to one of the three labour disputes that have badly affected the carrier’s operations this year. Australia’s flag carrier was forced to ground its entire fleet in late October to try and force an end to ongoing strikes. Not many passengers were happy with the airline’s decision as all international flights to and from Australia were cancelled. The carrier was later obliged to offer cheap flight tickets and other perks and was compelled to launch an advertising blitz in order to win back its customers.
With its main hub at Sydney Airport, Qantas is undoubtedly one of the first names that people think of when it comes to booking flights to and from Australia for travel. But the whole episode of fleet grounding left a bitter taste in the mouths of many passengers. However, things seem to be on right track for Qantas as one of the three dissenting unions reach an agreement with the airline.
Dispute with Long-Haul Crew and Baggage Handlers Not Settled
Qantas ongoing disputes with unions representing ground staff and long haul pilots are expected to go to binding arbitration next year.
The Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) has filed legal action against Fair Work’s order that prohibits all parties from taking any sort of industrial action. Any favourable outcome for AIPA in the case could open the way for the pilots to resume industrial action.
Qantas said in August that it would be establishing two other carriers in Asia next year. One would be a Jetstar budget unit in Japan that will be offering cheap flight tickets and other would be a full-service venture based in Singapore or Malaysia.