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Rogue unions putting Qantas at risk: Joyce -

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In an exclusive interview with 7.30, the company's CEO Alan Joyce hits out at what he calls rogue
union leaders, saying Qantas' future as an international carrier is in jeopardy.

Transcript

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: Qantas is facing potentially major disruption, with Fair Work Australia
today giving the go-ahead for pilots to vote for industrial action for the first time in 45 years.

In an exclusive interview with 7.30, the company's CEO Alan Joyce hits out at what he calls rogue
union leaders, saying Qantas' future as an international carrier is in jeopardy.

The pilots are countering by accusing Mr Joyce's management team of trashing the company brand, as
Conor Duffy reports.

CONOR DUFFY, REPORTER: After months of threats, the showdown of the Flying Kangaroo is inching
closer. Today Fair Work Australia approved a ballot that will see the men and women who control
long haul flights vote on taking industrial action.

RICHARD WOODWARD, AUST. AND INT'L. PILOTS ASSN: This is the first time since 1966 we've felt moved
to actually take industrial action, so the ballot result is a very sad day for us in some ways.

ALAN JOYCE, CEO, QANTAS: We believe that some of the demands that are being put on the table are
outrageous. They are demands that the company cannot agree to, and they are demands that would
result in job losses within this company.

CONOR DUFFY: The news pilots were finally voting on grounding planes has incensed Qantas CEO Alan
Joyce, who has given his first interview since the ballot was confirmed.

ALAN JOYCE: And the continual claim that they're going to take industrial action and damage the
customer base, disrupt the customer base, is again an attempt at further damaging the brand.
Unfortunately, this is the way some of these rogue union leaders think. It's not good for their
members, it's not good for employees, it's not good for our customers and we're gonna have to stand
up to them.

CONOR DUFFY: Who are you referring to when you talk about "rogue union leaders"?

ALAN JOYCE: Well we have the rogue unions of - the rogue union leaders of the engineers, of the
pilots.

RICHARD WOODWARD: Well I guess I should be happy that he's no longer calling us Kamikazes. But, no,
we're not rogues, we balloted our members before we went down this path and we got overwhelming
support for our actions.

CONOR DUFFY: Qantas also released its estimate of the union's three-year wage and condition claim
to 7.30. The company puts the cost at $317 million. Those figures are based on a two and a half per
cent wage rise, pay scales for each pilot grading and two premium economy international tickets for
each of the 1,700 pilots.

ALAN JOYCE: There are classification changes, there are asks about free travel, there are asks
about membership of Qantas Club, subsidised memberships. All of them would add up to over 26 per
cent in total demands against the company.

RICHARD WOODWARD: During the entire negotiations of nine months, the company's never tabled any
figures to us, so it's a new one to me, but our analysis says it's about $91 million. I think
Alan's got a malfunctioning calculator there.

CONOR DUFFY: The pilots union, though, insists this argument is really about job security. As an
example, it says pilots on Qantas's trans-Tasman route are employed by a New Zealand-based company
JetConnect that pays pilots much less.

It wants all pilots on the trans-Tasman route and others on similar arrangements in Asia to be paid
the same as Australian-based long haul pilots.

RICHARD WOODWARD: We think that the travelling public has a right to expect that if they get on a
Qantas flight, it's flown by a Qantas pilot, not some agency in Malaysia or wherever they manage to
set up an airline.

CONOR DUFFY: But Qantas says that would mean those companies would no longer make a profit and be
able to help prop up Qantas International.

ALAN JOYCE: There are certain demands I cannot concede to because it will endanger the survival of
the company into the long run.

CONOR DUFFY: So are you saying the entire future of Qantas International is at risk with this
action?

ALAN JOYCE: It is at that stage. Our international business is losing money. Our international
business, if these demands are met, will go backwards even further.

RICHARD WOODWARD: We want to operate together to produce a viable airline. We've always wanted a
co-operative relationship, not this aggressive antagonism from management. This is not about wages,
it's not about money at all, it's about a future for our pilots.

CONOR DUFFY: It's not just the pilots Alan Joyce has to worry about; his engineers are ready to go
on strike and he has to negotiate a new agreement with the Transport Workers Union, which has
already signalled it's prepared for a workplace war. The international arm of the business also
faces the challenge of arresting its declining market share.

ALAN JOYCE: I think it is happening as we talk. Our market share internationally is down to 18 per
cent, our market share in Asia is down to 14 per cent. We need to change the business in order for
it to be successful.

RICHARD WOODWARD: I think Qantas management's gotta realise that they've pushed the boundaries too
far and they have alienated most of their workforce.

LEIGH SALES, PRESENTER: On the other big industrial dispute at the moment, 7.30 can reveal that
tomorrow the Maritime Union of Australia will call off the work bans that have been affecting
Patrick stevedores. Conor Duffy has that story too and he's with me in the studio.

Conor, what can you tell us?

CONOR DUFFY, REPORTER: Leigh, this is a dispute that's been causing considerable concern in the
business community right across the country. Unions had originally planned a seven-day strike in
Sydney, Brisbane and Fremantle. They're Patricks that had the capacity to limit 50 per cent of
Australia's container shipments in and out of the country and could cost the company $8 million. My
sources are telling me that later tonight MUA national secretary Paddy Crumlin will release a
statement saying that the bans will be called off as of tomorrow and that business should return to
normal. The union line is going to be that they've listened to concerns about exporters -
especially Australian rural exporters trying to get cotton to markets overseas, and that they never
thought this would escalate so far. They only wanted a limited work ban and Patricks effectively
shut down the dock. So from tomorrow it should be business back to usual as normal and both sides
will return to the negotiating table and try and avert any more industrial action.

LEIGH SALES: Conor, thankyou.