Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce has “gone mad” following his decision to ground the airline’s entire fleet. This is the view of the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) – one of the three unions waging a campaign of industrial action against the carrier.
AIPA Vice President, Richard Woodward told the Sydney Morning Herald that the move was “premeditated, unnecessary and grossly irresponsible”, and accused Joyce of “holding a knife to the nation’s throat”. Qantas had earlier accused unions of “holding Qantas passengers to ransom”.
“No-one predicted this, because no one thought Alan Joyce was completely mad. This is a stunning overreaction. It is straight-up blackmail,” Captain Woodward was reported saying.
The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) meanwhile, echoed this view, calling the lock-out of union members a “crazed action”. It also labelled Qantas a “national disgrace”.
Along with engineers’ union ALAEA, the labour groups have been waging a coordinated campaign of strike action again Qantas in recent months. Qantas estimated that the action has already affected 70,000 passengers, and cost the company more than AU$68 million (US$72 million).