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Thursday, October 21, 2004

Waterfront 2: Qantas

The 7:30 report last night ran the story. Qantas want to relocate staff to London to save $18 million, meanwhile the directors have voted themselves a 66% pay rise (almost enough to cover the saving) and they made a $960 million dollar profit this year. The flight attendants union is on course to strike, and Qantas are training replacement labour. Big business once again is totally ignoring any social responsibility to its workers. Qantas is complaining that Virgin Blue's staff costs are up to 15% less. Two points: Qantas market themselves as a quality airline (Virgin don't) placing their niche in the more exclusive segment - therefore charging more. Second point: Qantas workers are 50-70% unionised, Virgin 30-40% - doesn't that show that unions are responsible for higher salaries AND better quality work?

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