LONDON – Qantas crew are threatening to strike if the airline won’t listen to the demands of the strike.
The Flight Attendants’ Association of Australia (FAAA) are saying that Qantas management “has threatened employees that they will not have access to work on new aircraft unless they sign onto new enterprise agreements that dramatically cut conditions”.
This is coinciding with Qantas’ most recent purchase of 20 new Airbus A321XLR back in May as part of Project Sunrise. The A321XLR is set to replace the aging Boeing 737.
At the same time, the association is saying that with the purchase of this new plane, Qantas is extending their shifts from 10 to 12 hours while also cutting rest times between shifts.
“To force the crew to work even longer and harder than they already are with no additional break between shifts would cause more to go off sick with fatigue, causing further disruption to an already chaotic Qantas flight schedule,” said the association’s general secretary Teri O’Toole.
Qantas, however, denies these claims, stating that the “grounds for taking this step towards industrial action are misleading”.
“The shift length changes we’re asking for are the same that apply to crew working at other domestic airlines in Australia,” a Qantas spokesperson told AAP on Wednesday.
Qantas has also denied any plans to outsource the attendants’ shifts.
“The FAAA signed off on these conditions as part of agreements for those airlines, so it’s bizarre they’re now claiming they’re unsafe.”
If the FAAA’s application to strike is successful, then the cabin crew will then vote on the strike, which Qantas is unable to say if it will happen before mid-November.
“Cabin crew may serve tea and coffee on a good day, but when it’s not a good day at the office, they are the firefighters, the paramedics, and the police on that aircraft, and they need to be able to act fast and be free of fatigue,” Ms. O’Toole said.
“Qantas turned a deaf ear to crews’ safety concerns and instead issued an ultimatum. This is not good faith bargaining; it’s bullying … despite Qantas being the largest recipient of JobKeeper payments.”
Cats and dogs
These types of accusations and trying to convince everyone else that the other one is the bad person sound like cats and dogs fighting with each other.
It is not sure everyone knows who is right and who is wrong for now until it becomes clear which party is in the right.
It is obviously very annoying for the crew if the accusations they are throwing are true, and it should very obviously be addressed in a manner that the airline will respond, but if the airline doesn’t want to lose customers because of the strikes, then it should be obvious that they should be crystal clear about their new situation and stop with the denials, even if it is true.
On the other hand, if the FAAA is lying to be able to squeeze some more salary out of it while there not really be a bigger problem, then they should be punished for their actions to harm the airline by giving them a very bad rep and showing the world how much of a scapegoat the airline is.