Monday, December 19, 2011

Qantas Ends Dispute With Aircraft Engineers

Qantas’ management will be spending their Christmas with considerably lighter heart! The airline has managed to pull off a truce deal with one of the three unions at the centre of the industrial clash.

Qantas Airways, Australia’s national airline, reached an agreement with the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA), putting an end to a bitter ongoing dispute. The agreement includes a 3 per cent annual wage hike for the next three years in return of the ALAEA agreeing to the new work practises.

ALAEA represents 1600 licensed aircraft maintenance engineers.

Qantas has had a very troubled 2011 so far with the airline involved in a massive industrial dispute with different labour unions. In October, the airline decided to halt its operation, suspending every flight to and from Australia. This was done to counter ongoing strikes. Thousands of passengers were left stranded at airports not only in Australia but all over the world as international flights to Australia were cancelled. It sure wasn’t a good PR exercise, no wonder the airline tried to make amends by offering cheap flight tickets and other perks to affected travellers!

Qantas has plans to launch two other carriers in Asia - one of them is scheduled to be a budget carrier that will offer cheap flight tickets for air travel and other is planned to be a full-service airline.

While the airline has been successful in reaching an agreement with one of the warring parties, it is unable to break ice with unions representing ground staff and long haul pilots. The dispute is likely to go to binding arbitration next year.

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