TWU NATIONAL MEDIA RELEASE
The Transport Workers’ Union today slammed the Qantas Transformation Program as a complete failure and said the only way profitability would be restored to the company was through deep and sustained engagement with the workforce.
TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon made the comments as Qantas workers grilled management in the company’s Annual General Meeting about its poor recent financial record and ongoing job losses.
Mr Sheldon said it’s clear the current Board’s ‘Transformation Program’ isn’t working and it’s time to change course.
“Since the introduction of Qantas’ ‘Transformation Plan’ the only changes for the airline have been for the worse,” Mr Sheldon said.
“This year we’ve seen a record $2.8 billion loss.
“Qantas shareholders have not seen a dividend for five years and share prices have devalued by 57% since 2009.”
One worker, Steve Holloway, who has been working at Qantas for 17 years, says, “Qantas is a great airline that I’m proud to work for. But since the Board brought in the ‘Transformation Program’ I’ve seen safety standards decrease and pressure rise to an all time high.
“When I first started there was a six-man gang to load an aircraft, but in the last two months we’ve been reduced to four, despite much of the aircraft being larger.
“This reduction in numbers for loading has brought pressure and concern about maintaining safety standards. It doesn’t seem to be helping the company, the community, or the workers.”
Mr Sheldon said it is clear Qantas workers aren’t the problem – in February, Qantas management conceded workforce productivity had increased by more than 22% in recent years.
“Qantas workers are highly productive, efficient and loyal. But management continue with an aggressive outsourcing agenda that leaves workers without the financial stability and job security they deserve,” Mr Sheldon said.
“The only staff that aren’t working productively are those at the top, like CEO Alan Joyce who failed to meet more than 60% of his targets in the last financial year.
“The future of the Qantas workforce is intrinsically linked to the performance of Mr Joyce.
“Workers want the airline to succeed but the Board has continued to plough ahead with its failed Transformation Program.
“Qantas needs to stop waging war on its workforce and instead engage with them to turn the airline around.
“The Qantas workforce is looking forward to working with management and the Board to deliver a strategy for growth – one that serves shareholders, the community and Qantas staff alike.”
Media Contact: Jemma McLeod – 0418 982 257