Qantas has been unable to reach a new agreement with its pilots’union after meetings collapsed between the parties. State mediator Fair WorkAustralia will now step in to resolve the ongoing dispute which has lasted 15months and seen more than 50 meetings.
The airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce said that while Qantas would havepreferred to resolve the dispute through negotiations, he was prepared to letFair Work Australia bring the matter to a close.
“We haven’t been able to reach a new agreement with the Australianand International Pilots Association through negotiations so we will now letthe independent umpire decide,” said Joyce. “We did make some progress innegotiations with movement on both sides; however in the end we were unable toreach a new agreement for our 1,600 long-haul pilots”.
AIPA however, claimed that it Qantas that ended negotiations. Theunion’s Vice President, Captain Richard Woodward, said that AIPA requested anextension of the negotiation period, but that Qantas management refused. Joycedenied the claims, saying both sides concluded an arbitrator should step in.
Qantas claims that the main sticking points in the negotiations withAIPA is the union’s demand that Jetstar pilots earn the same as membersemployed with full-service Qantas. But AIPA says the bone of contention is thepotential offshoring of pilot jobs to Asia.”This isn’t about pay and it isn’t about conditions – it’s about retaining theskills and experience of Qantas pilots in Australia,”said Captain Woodward.