Qantas Case Study, Qantas Dispute

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QANTAS DISPUTE On October 22nd, 2001, the Industrial dispute between QANTAS and its employees was initiated with the offering of a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement. This proposed an 18-month wage freeze for employees plus a sliding scale profit share scheme. Ten out of twelve unions under QANTAS accepted the terms of the agreement, barring the unions of manufacturing employees (AWU and AMWU). They were holding out for a 4-6% pay rise. On the 8th May 2002, some ten months later, the dispute was resolved when QANTAS agreed to an across the board 6% pay increase. This essay provides an in-depth analysis into the dispute, including causes, the resolution process, the role of stakeholders, and costs and benefits for all concerned. The…show more content…
Under such circumstances, the AIRC is not permitted by the WRA to mediate, unless the industry is nationally significant. This allowed the body to interfere in this case. The Unions requested the AIRC to be further involved through arbitration, however QANTAS management refused this motion. They were even refusing to attend negotiations, unless the threat of industrial actions was removed. An example of the AIRC attempting to resolve the dispute occurred on 11th December 2001, when they recommended that unions take QANTAS ' latest offer to employees. It was overwhelmingly rejected. The Federal Court also became involved in the dispute when Unions sought Common Law Action to halt the standing down of manufacturing workers, however QANTAS was allowed a 72-hour adjournment. The AIRC tried facilitated the dispute through conciliation, i.e. by conducting meetings with both employees and management in attendance. On the 8th May, the dispute was resolved with employees obtaining a 6% across-the-board pay rise (although 1/3 employees voted to reject this deal as well). The employees and management were the primary stakeholders in the dispute and hence were most affected, but they were not the only stakeholders who had a role in it. The Trade Unions (Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and Australian Workers Union), Federal Court and AIRC also had various functions in the dispute
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