Qantas staff morale drops as engineers begin a one-minute industrial action

A union boss has criticized the culture of Qantas staff saying that company morale was “absolutely rock bottom” in various departments of the airline.

Federal Secretary of the Australian Association of Licensed Aeronautical Engineers Steve Purvinas told ABC the low estimate was causing staff absenteeism to rise to as high as 83 per cent of shift workers.

“I can use an apartment in Sydney [as an example]where they require 60 people in each shift,” he said.

“It’s not unusual for 50 out of 60 people to call in sick on any given day.”

Do you want to broadcast your news? Flash allows you to broadcast more than 25 news channels in 1 place. New to Flash? Try 1 month free. Offer ends October 31, 2022 >

Also speaking to ABC, an engineer who has been with the company for 30 years says working conditions at Qantas’ Mascot aircraft base in Sydney have become an “absolute disaster”.

Identified by the pseudonym Mark, he said neglect, outdated technology and infrastructure, and equipment cutbacks meant engineers were unprepared to do their jobs.

“It feels like working with one hand tied behind your back most of the time,” says Mark.

He said basic equipment like stands have become hard to find, meaning engineers must “seek and search trying to find a work stand that’s right for the job.”

The lack of specific specialized tools has also caused unnecessary delays.

“They just don’t have the right tools to do all the jobs we need to do on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “Often we try to find tools because they have been loaned to another port or have been calibrated.”

Mark is one of the Qantas engineers who will be on strike for a minute, in an industrial action over demands for a 12 per cent pay rise. This is, in part, to make up for four years of stagnant wages.

Purvinas called the strike a “symbolic action,” which is not designed to disrupt commuter operations.

“A one-minute outage will of course not harm any airline and it also demonstrates our willingness to negotiate in good faith and not try to harm the airline,” he told members.

“We want to give some time to resolve these issues before we have to do anything that might come close to disturbing the public.”

On Wednesday morning, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said 2022 had been an “extremely challenging” time for the Qantas Group. In announcing the airline’s full-year results, the group reported an underlying pre-tax loss of nearly $1.9 billion and a statutory pre-tax loss of just under $1.2 billion.

Reflecting on the drop in revenue, he said it was “remarkable” that the group had survived the Covid pandemic.

“That brings our total losses since the start of the pandemic to more than $7 billion and brings lost revenue to more than $25 billion,” he said.

“To put that in perspective, legally, Covid cost us more money in the last three years than we made in the previous five years.

“These numbers are staggering and getting to the other side has obviously been difficult.”

Read related topics:qantas

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.