Independent Umpire to Decide on Pilots' Union

Sydney, 21 November 2011

Qantas has been unable to reach a new agreement with the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA) and both parties concluded that Fair Work Australia will need to resolve the dispute.

Qantas has negotiated in good faith for 15 months with the pilots union including over 50 meetings including 19 days of meetings before Fair Work Australia over recent weeks.

Qantas Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce said while Qantas preferred option had been to resolve the dispute through negotiations, it was now time to let Fair Work Australia bring the matter to a close.

“We haven’t been able to reach a new agreement with the Australian and International Pilots Association through negotiations so we will now let the independent umpire decide,” Mr Joyce said.

“We did make some progress in negotiations with movement on both sides however in the end we were unable to reach a new agreement for our 1600 long-haul pilots.

“We will continue to explore any opportunities with the pilots’ union to reduce the number of matters that need to be arbitrated on.

“Qantas did not terminate the negotiations today. Both parties concluded that an agreement could not be reached so the matter will be resolved by arbitration.

“Qantas customers have returned in large numbers since we resumed flying and they can continue to book flights with absolute confidence.

“Fair Work Australia ordered the Australian and International Pilots Association to stop all industrial action which means it cannot take any action during the arbitration period and for the term of Fair Work Australia’s determination, which will be for a period of up to four years.

“The pilots’ union has launched a legal challenge against the decision by Fair Work Australia to terminate all industrial action, the Federal Government has indicated that they will vigorously defend the decision and are confident the union will not be successful. We are right behind the Government on this.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (5335)