Qantas Statement on Engineers' Industrial Action

Sydney, 17 December 2009

Qantas said today that industrial action by Professional Engineers during December and January would not have any impact on airline operations.

Qantas Group Executive Government and Corporate Affairs, Mr David Epstein, said the airline had continued to negotiate with the Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers Australia (APESMA) in good faith on the latest Enterprise Bargaining Agreement.

The union plans to take industrial action, starting today, throughout the Christmas and New Year period - the second time it has taken such action in recent weeks.

"Again, we are disappointed that the union is taking this unnecessary step," Mr Epstein said.

"The announcement by union officials refers to sporadic action that has been going on for some time, but has not disrupted Qantas operations and will not do so in the future.

"We would encourage customers to disregard this attempt at scaremongering.

"The contribution our Professional Engineers make to our operations is highly valued.

"However, APESMA's current claim for a pay rise of 26 per cent over three years - including 17 per cent in the first year - is unreasonable and would be unsustainable.

"We have continued to negotiate in good faith and remain absolutely committed to finding common ground."

Mr Epstein said Qantas had contingency plans in place to ensure that passengers would not be affected by the action.

"There will not be any disruption to our operations and our customers can travel with confidence," he said.

"Aircraft will not be grounded or delayed and safety will, as always, remain our top priority."

Qantas employs approximately 190 Professional Engineers in an engineering workforce of around 5,500 people.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3998)