The Australian Council of Trade Unions says the decision by Qantas to ground its fleet and lock out its workforce is a serious over-reaction by management that will hurt all Qantas employees and customers.
In a statement on its website, ACTU Secretary Jeff Lawrence calls on Qantas management to reverse its decision and get back to the negotiating table to get an agreement with their workforce.
“Alan Joyce needs to urgently reverse this lock-out and grounding. This is a most unusual decision which is completely unwarranted, and will only hurt Qantas’ brand and customers.
"Qantas employees are as shocked and stunned at this extreme decision as passengers are. Workers at Qantas are simply seeking to negotiate new pay and conditions, and some guarantees from management about job security.
“But bargaining at Qantas has broken down because of management’s refusal to negotiate. Industrial action at Qantas has been limited, and some unions have actually called off industrial action for several weeks, but Qantas has continued to snub its workforce."
Lawrence says the Qantas decision is "irresponsible action by Alan Joyce" that "will hurt innocent bystanders, including the traveling public and the majority of the Qantas workforce who are currently not in bargaining with management."
“We call on Qantas to calm down, and immediately reverse this rash decision because the only way this dispute will be resolved is through negotiation, not by holding Australian workers and the public to ransom.”
ACTU has called an urgent meeting of Qantas unions tonight to discuss the developments.