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Qantas Case Study Employment Relations Summary

Definition and cause of Industrial Conflict Wage demands and management policy related to the outsourcing of maintenance work overseas. Oct 22, 2001: Qantas put a proposal to unions for an 18 month wage freeze. It was based on falling profits if Qantas met their 2001 profit result then employees would receive a lump sum bonus. designed to protect and hopefully grow Qantas jobs and to ensure Qantas establishes itself as one of the strongest airlines in the world. 10 out of 12 unions agreed to it, except for the maintenance unions. Australian Manufacturing Workers Union claimed that 4-6% pay rise would be suitable. OUTSOUCING maintenance BIGGEST problem. Dispute Resolution Process New Ent Barg Agreement was to be made btwn maintenance and Qantas. Resolution started at the lowest level 2 unions became involved and CEO AIRC became involved to try to resolve the dispute btwn unions and Q within the limits specified by W.R.A Unions wanted it to be settled through arbitration. Qantas didnt. Unions pushed for the case to go to Federal Court to ban Qantas from standing down workers for not working OT. Qantas won. May 8, 2002: unions and Qantas reached an enterprise agreement after 10 months. Resulted in 6% pay rise across the board and reclassifications of job grading. t

Employees took out overt action: - Stop work meetings - Strikes - Work bans (refused to work O.T) - Picket lines at Melbourne Airport Qantas used overt and covert action: - Stood down 400 maintenance employees for not working OT (overt) - Excluded the unions from decision making (covert)

Role of Stakeholders in dispute resolution (1) Employees - Hard line approach. - Were angered by the exceeding time it took and tactics of Q. - Were the instigators: they werent happy with agreements. (2) Trade Unions (AWU and AMWU) - Represented their maintenance employees. - Claimed that Q was capitalising on market turmoil employees paid low compared to international standards. - AWU secretary accused airline taking adv of Ansett collapse. - Wage pause would represent a pay cut. - Critical of Q outsourcing overseas $14 million. - Role in controlling and resolving dispute and negotiating the new E.A. (3) Employer (Q) - Took a very hard line approach refusing to negotiate and standing down workers for failing to work OT. - Had to be consistent with wage pause agreed to with 10 other unions. - Refused to go to arbitration. (4) AIRC Role was limited by W.R.A. Could not force Q to go to arbitration. Tried to reach negotiations.

(5) Federal Court - Indirect role - Involved in the 72 hr adjournment. Costs and Benefits of Industrial Conflict Benefit - Qantass cost cutting measures (increase competitiveness) - 2/3 maintenance got 6% pay rise - Maintenance got attention on issues such as outsourcing, - Employees unity - Improved career opportunities Cost - Lost production (1 million) - Loss of wages (choice of action) - Legal fees (AIRC and Fed Court) - Increase wage costs. - Stress (employees, mngmt) - Low job security and morale - Community anger at unions - Workers had mixed feelings. - Reduced confidence in union - Disruption int flights - Loss of reputation

Type Financial

Personal Social

Political - Reduced union power International - Cost cut improve int compet and opportunity Int Ex.