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Saving jobs is the name of our game at Qantas

06 March 2014 By ASU, the airlines industry union


Yesterday ASU officials and delegates met with Qantas management about the impact of the 5000 job cuts in ASU areas. It was a long frustrating day with lots of hot air and very few details provided by management about how many people are likely to lose their jobs.

In most instances Qantas was unable and unwilling to provide actual figures of the desired reduction in numbers by area. This is simply not good enough. The restructures and reductions in staff have either not been properly considered or Qantas is holding out on the specifics of what they have planned.

Ill-conceived EOIs could come out as early as today

We were able to confirm that Voluntary Redundancies (VR) and other alternatives (specific to each area) will be offered to employees in business support, QCatering, Customer Care, Freight, and Airports.

In the majority of locations the company has not indicated what the target numbers are for voluntary redundancies – our advice is don't make any definite unchangeable plans based on an expectation that you will definitely get a VR until we see the full picture. Here is what we know so far:

Business Support

We understand that in business support the Qantas target is 1500 full time equivalent positions, around 4500 staff is the pool from which these redundancies is to be drawn from. 1500 of the pool are senior management outside our EBAs who are not going through a VR expression of interest (EOI) process. Most of the Australian based EBA covered staff in scope are receiving EOIs for VR. Qantas will not say how many of these senior managers will be included in the goal of 1500 full time equivalent positions. All they would say is that the management structure will be in place by the end of March. After the EOI process closes we will meet again with Qantas before announcements of who gets VR are made.


Expressions of interest (EOIs) in redundancy are going out to all customer service employees in all airports except SIT today. We have programed further discussions about numbers and structures for all airports in a couple of weeks. These meetings will include delegates. What we know so far is that the soon to depart boss Samantha Taranto says that service desk and sales desk are being reviewed based on an inaccurate understanding of how these jobs operate at Virgin. We have tried to correct this misunderstanding. Airport training and baggage service is also under review as is the full/part time employee mix. Qantas management does not seem to understand the benefits of Jobshare which we tried over and over again to highlight as a cost and job saving.

In relation to SIT – the ASU has instituted legal proceedings about the company proposal here. We believe that Qantas is not following the consultation process required by law. The outcome of the SIT proceedings will also assist us in other locations.


An expression of interest process for freight IT positions is underway. We also believe that freight jobs in terminals which directly report to corporate as well as managers will be targeted for voluntary redundancy. Details are sketchy on this and we are planning a further meeting.


Please consult locally for details for your centre.

Make sure you read the fine print in the Expression of Interest

Despite the lack of information on structures in these areas Expression of Interests (EOIs) will kick off today. Most of these will be binding EOIs. Please make sure you know the process in your area before putting in an EOI. If you are unsure please contact your local ASU delegates or organisers.

A binding EOI means if you put in an expression it cannot be withdrawn, so be sure of the economic consequences of your decision before you do so.

Qantas Unions meetings

The ASU also participated in the Qantas Unions meeting with Alan Joyce on 5th March 2014. We are working with other unions to get the best outcome we can for Qantas Group members. We raised issues about the Jetstar bargaining directly in the meeting – a separate Jetstar bulletin will be issued shortly about this and our recent EBA meeting.

Watch out for more details of activities with other unions – we are working on a united front.

What next?

The ASU is committed to fighting to save every job we can. We will continue to push for more information about each of the impacted areas and are considering legal options to force Qantas to come clean about what is really going on. Locally the ASU will be holding meetings at various workplaces so keep an eye and ear out for meetings in your workplace.

If you want more information contact your local organiser [download the full bulletin below for details].


icon Qantas Group Bulletin, 6 March 2014

Contact Details
Name: Linda White, ASU Assistant National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400