Qantas today announced it had convened a meeting with about 50 Union officials, delegates and the ACTU for Thursday, 11 April. Qantas has initiated the meeting to discuss the latest developments in the global and domestic aviation industries and set the scene for the next round of enterprise bargaining.
The meeting comes as Qantas is close to finalising the current round of wage pause agreements with Unions for this financial year.
Qantas Executive General Manager Human Resources Kevin Brown said virtually all Unions had recognised that the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 had a devastating impact on the aviation industry, with more than 300,000 jobs lost worldwide.
Against this background, Mr Brown said Qantas had negotiated agreements with 12 Unions for a 12-month wage pause and was continuing discussions with the Australian Manufacturing Workers` Union and Australian Workers` Union.
“We have been meeting with the AWU and AMWU regularly since January,” Mr Brown said. “We are working this week to close these last two agreements for a wage pause.”
Qantas also reached agreement late last week with the Transport Workers` Union for a 12 month wage pause until 30 June 2002, followed by a wage increase of 3 per cent per annum for each of the three years to 30 June 2005.
The TWU membership will now vote on this agreement, approved unanimously by the TWU`s national negotiating committee.
“The agreement reached with the TWU builds on the wage pause by providing reasonable increases and a period of stability for our employees,” Mr Brown said. “In the current and foreseeable operating environment, this agreement provides an acceptable result for both this group of employees and for Qantas. The agreement also addresses Qantas` focus on productivity to ensure we remain competitive, domestically and internationally.”
Mr Brown said a key issue for the meeting with Unions on Thursday was to draw the link between growth, employment security and workplace flexibility.
“Almost alone among major airlines, Qantas offers reasonable employment security and jobs growth. Qantas management will continue to work with our employees to meet the competitive challenges posed by low cost carriers and Government funded airlines.”