Monday, 31 October 2011

Qantas - back flying this afternoon, but at what cost

With the Fair Work Australia tribunal agreeing with the request of government to terminate the dispute, Qantas has won round one.

With the dispute terminated, and the parties having 21 days to negotiate a settlement before one is imposed on them, Qantas aircraft should be up in the air again by this afternoon (Monday 31 October).

But at what cost? A whole bunch of CHOGM attendees are extremely pissed off, as well as thousands of Qantas passengers both in Australia and around the world.

I'm sure that Qantas, along with its strke-busting dispute advisers Freehills think that they have endured some short term pain (a minor loss of face with passengers) for a great deal of long term gain (better work practices and a lower wage structure with more flexibility).

However, in reality it might be short term gain for Qantas (its victory in the tribunal), but very likely some long term pain as passengers realise that their loyalty is not being honored, and they will turn to the cheapest, or best value-for-money airlines - and in most cases, that is no longer Qantas.

For analysis, try Paul Sheehan's article in the SMH, where he catalogues 10 mistakes that Qantas has made. For a summary of international headlines try the Australian Financial Review

A couple of things to note_
  • An online survey by the SMH has 59% of people agreeing that Qantas went too far, and 
  • the AFR reports that social media support/criticism is split
  • SMH says that a falling share price means Qantas is ripe for takeover

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