The Australian Services Union today welcomed the opportunity to build a better Qantas with the appointment of Vanessa Hudson as CEO elect, saying it was the first opportunity in a decade to reset the relationship between Qantas and its workers and customers alike.
ASU Assistant National Secretary Emeline Gaske said workers and customers had endured the consequences of short-term thinking under Alan Joyce with outsourcing and cost cutting taking a huge toll.
“Qantas staff and customers have shared the pain of cost cutting at Qantas and this has flowed through to impact people’s travel experiences,” Ms Gaske said.
“The first thing we want to see from the new CEO is a reversal of Qantas’ policy to cut, outsource and offshore jobs.
“We have lost thousands of jobs at Qantas before and during the pandemic. While demand has surged back to normal levels, staffing has not.
“This has left staff exhausted and working beyond breaking point, which has ultimately damaged the Qantas brand with travellers.
“People have ensured many hours on hold waiting for the phone to be answered, delayed flights and many other issues, all of which can be traced to understaffing.
in order to deliver the world class airline that travellers expect and deserve, we need investment in the local workforce of highly skilled, customer service professionals.”
Ms Gaske said workers also want to see a strong commitment to good jobs with good pay and conditions that reflect the high calibre of people required to run a great airline.
“As a top tier airline, workers are telling Qantas that it needs to attract and retain the very best people, but that requires good, permanent, well-paid jobs with investment in professional and career development.
“We need to bring the spirit of Australia back to Qantas with a commitment to its people and customers.”
Ms Gaske said she looked forward to meeting the new CEO.