Qantas has said it “remains hopeful” of reaching a new agreement with three of its unions.
The airline is undergoing a 21-day period of mediated negotiations following the recent grounding of its fleet. During this time, the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA), Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) and Australian & International Pilots Association (AIPA), are not allowed to conduct any industrial action, as per the guidelines set out by Fair Work Australia.
Since last Monday’s ruling, Qantas and the unions have held several meetings in an attempt to reach a settlement – four with the AIPA, two with TWU and one with the ALAEA. A further meeting with the ALAEA will take place today.
AIPA President, Barry Jackson, said in a recent statement that he is “hoping for a positive outcome” from the 21 day negotiation period. Major stumbling blocks however, are likely to lie in negotiations with the TWU and ALAEA.
In a bullish statement, the TWU has said it will “pursue a negotiation lockdown to force Qantas management to reach an outcome”. The TWU and ALAEA have also launched a Facebook campaign to stop Qantas off-shoring maintenance work.
The airline has said that it is prepared to negotiate on pay and conditions, but will not give in to “demands that would make Qantas less efficient”.