Following news that this year’s Qantas AGM would not allow shareholders to ask questions, the Transport Workers ‘Union (TWU) has stepped in to remedy the situation.
The union held an ‘alternative’ AGM at Sydney Airport’s Qantas domestic terminal this morning to highlight the board’s silence on the outsourcing of 2,500 workers.
The ‘alternative’ meeting was led by an ‘Allen Joyce’ character, which was essentially an unidentified man speaking with a thick Irish accent, and nine ‘board members’.
Fake Joyce went through a series of satirical cost-cutting ideas including removing the wings from planes and having no employees “except myself and some key management roles”.
He then went on to take questions, all of which he promptly avoided answering.
“The Qantas board has been utterly silent since management announced it wanted to axe and outsource 2,500 loyal and highly trained workers,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.
“We know passengers won’t get as good a service from an airline that contracts out its work to the lowest bidder.
“We know shareholders and investors must be concerned about standards slipping with the loss of thousands of experienced dedicated workers.
“The Qantas board must stand up and hold management to account on behalf of workers, investors, passengers and the wider Australian community.”
On Wednesday, the NSW Upper House of Parliament passed a motion condemning Qantas’ outsourcing and demanding that it be stopped, with a similar motion expected before the Senate in a few weeks.
The TWU has begun legal proceedings against Qantas over the outsourcing with the Fair Work Commission hearing the case. A report by Ernst & Young states the initial criteria Qantas set for workers to bid for their own jobs was “unattainable and unrealistic”.
You can watch TWU’s mock AGM below:
LIVE: workers Qantas wants to axe have their chance to grill the “Qantas board” and “Allen Joyce” at TWU’s alternative AGM
Posted by Transport Workers Union – TWU on Thursday, 22 October 2020
Meanwhile, at Qantas’ real AGM, which also took place this morning, the real Alan Joyce stressed the group’s need to cut costs.
“We have identified $15 billion in cost savings over the next three years, mostly through reduced flying activity,” Joyce said.
“We’re also targeting $1 billion in ongoing cost improvements from Financial Year 23.”
Joyce said Qantas is also renegotiating its agreements with travel agents to create better selling opportunities for the trade and reduce its cost of sale.