Statement on Engineering Strike Action

Sydney, 19 June 2008

Qantas said today it would take all necessary measures to minimise the impact of strike action by the Australian Licensed Engineers Association (ALAEA) planned for next week.

Qantas Executive General Manager People, Mr Kevin Brown, said the timing of the strikes by the ALAEA was deliberately designed to maximise disruption and some flights will have to be cancelled.

"The union is determined to disrupt the travel plans of Qantas customers, and we are equally determined to minimise the impact of its strike action," he said.

"We have already begun planning schedule adjustments and will monitor our operations closely. We expect to get all customers to their destination on the day they choose to fly. Where flights are cancelled or rescheduled, affected customers will be contacted and rebooked on alternative services."

Mr Brown said Qantas had met with the union twice in recent weeks in an attempt to resolve this dispute.

"We met last week where the union tabled a new and higher claim valued at 5.7 per cent per annum. A meeting was also planned for today, but was cancelled once the union notified the airline of its intention to strike.

"We have no intention of changing our current wages policy given the extraordinary pressures we are facing with record fuel prices, and we will not compromise the future competitiveness of our business.

Mr Brown said the ALAEA's claims regarding safety and bullying were wrong.

"We totally reject these claims. Every action Qantas has taken to maintain its operations during this dispute has been legal and justified," he said.

"We have reasonably requested engineers to work overtime and they have refused. The law requires a company to dock pay when its employees engage in illegal industrial action. At no time have engineers been directed to work outside their qualifications."

"It is inevitable that the union will play the safety card, particularly when it is seeking more money. Safety is always our top priority and not something we will ever compromise.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (3776)