Qantas Rejects Engineering Union Claims

Sydney, 07 April 2010

Qantas today rejected as false claims by Alison Rose of the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers, Australia (APESMA) that the airline was not sharing details of technical incidents with senior engineering staff.

Qantas Group Executive Government and Corporate Affairs, Mr David Epstein, said the union's latest claims regarding recent aircraft technical incidents were another opportunistic attempt to use scare tactics around safety to advance its industrial agenda.

"APESMA's industrial campaign commenced on 13 November 2009, and we have had enhanced engineering documentation and oversight procedures in place since that day," Mr Epstein said.

"Highly qualified and experienced engineering managers are certifying work which is then subject to detailed peer review, including by engineers taking part in the industrial action.

"We are absolutely confident we are meeting all of our regulatory obligations and that suitable communication and work flow arrangements are in place.

"CASA commenced an examination of these arrangements before Easter and we welcome this scrutiny.

"No engineering decisions are being made in isolation, and CASA has been complimentary of what it has seen in its review to date."

Mr Epstein said that despite threats of disruptions by the union in the lead up to Easter, Qantas services were not affected, just as they had not been affected since November.

"Qantas customers can continue to travel with complete confidence in the knowledge that safety remains, and will always remain, our highest priority," he said.

"We are very disappointed that APESMA officials, and their public relations advisers, continue to undermine confidence in the airline and the efforts of 35,000 hardworking employees, including their own members. They should hang their heads in shame."

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (4051)