The Australian Services Union has welcomed today’s announcement by Qantas that retiring CEO Alan Joyce would depart earlier than expected, saying the airline needed to act swiftly to restore the trust of workers and customers.
ASU Assistant National Secretary Emeline Gaske said the decision to bring forward the handover to CEO-elect Vanessa Hudson was the right one after the events of the past week confirmed that the merciless drive for profits had led Qantas to lose its way.
“Incoming Qantas management now has a rare opportunity to rebuild the relationship between the airline and its workers and customers,” Ms Gaske said.
“Frontline workers have borne the brunt of years of outsourcing and cost-cutting, and their stress levels have soared as travel volumes have returned but staffing levels have not.
“This has flowed through to people’s travel experiences, with customers enduring cancelled flights, lost baggage, and overall inadequate service.”
Ms Gaske said the union was looking forward to working with new management to ensure that proper investment in a local workforce of highly skilled, customer service professionals was central to Qantas’ plans to restore its damaged reputation.
She said a strong commitment to secure jobs with good pay and conditions would help to attract and retain the high calibre of people required to run a great airline.
“It’s time for Qantas to hit the reset button,” she said.
“If this once iconic airline wants to rebuild its reputation with the Australian people and ensure it is around for another 100 years, it must start investing in the people that made it great in the first place: its people.
“We need to bring the spirit of Australia back to Qantas with a commitment to its people and customers.”