USU/ASU delegates and officials attended the Qantas AGM in Brisbane on Friday 26th October 2018 and put the company’s imposition of conditions on this year’s bonuses front and centre as an issue for staff in the questions we put to the Chairman of the Board and CEO Alan Joyce.
Thanks to all USU/ASU members who directed proxies to our reps — we were also pleased to get proxies from FAAA international division members with shares too.
Your reps asked why conditions have been put on bonuses when such a move is not linked to a pay freeze, we asked what the conditions of “not causing harm to Qantas” actually means and we also asked why staff at Q Catering who are transferring to dnata soon are being treated so unfairly as they will never see the bonus through no fault of their own.
Qantas tried to say the conditions on this bonus are the same as previously — this is not true as the previous bonuses were linked to a pay freeze— this bonus comes at a time when Qantas is experiencing bumper profits. The shareholders in the room expressed sympathy for our position privately at least.
On the causing harm condition, it appears that not all industrial action will necessarily be deemed to be causing harm to Qantas, it is fair to say the answer on this point was quite interesting but the discretion that the company can exercise on the awarding of the bonus down the track is very wide indeed.
As for the bonus for Q Catering staff transferring to dnata, it was not clear that Qantas executives actually understood that everyone in Q Catering except ASU EBA staff were getting the bonus before transfer. As we have been already we will continue to pursue this issue as it is grossly unfair.
You may have heard rumours of mass redundancies swirling around Qantas supposedly because of the increase in fuel prices. We took the opportunity to ask if these rumours were true and this was emphatically denied by CEO Alan Joyce.
Finally we asked why the Qantas promotional team who staff the AGM were not being paid for their work unlike every executive in attendance, this was met with the response that they got opportunities to represent Qantas at parties and events they would not otherwise be able to attend so they were lucky to get the opportunity to volunteer to work for free.
We don’t think that this is a good enough explanation and query whether this is even possible under the Fair Work Act. Qantas is making piles of money – not only can they pay our bonuses now they can pay the promotional team!
The AGM and our questions were covered extensively in the media as were the questions and resolutions from Australian Center for Corporate Responsibility. You can check out some of the media coverage here
Bonuses raised In parliament
On Wednesday 24th October 2018, Steve Georganas MP for the South Australian seat of Hindmarsh gave a speech in parliament questioning why Qantas was failing to pay the awarded bonuses to Qantas staff, you can watch Steve’s speech here.
Thanks Steve for your continued support.
Still time to sign the petition
There is still time to sign the ACTU petition about our bonuses — if you have not done so please do so ASAP
For more information, please get in touch with the relevant contact below.
If you’re not a member of the USU/ASU, you can join online now at our secure form: www.usu.org.au/join