Good one, Sheldo

This will work out well.

Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon said his members were entitled to consider strike action.

Senior officials said unions would consider action in the Federal Court and the Fair Work Commission if they believed the attempts by Qantas to impose job cuts and a pay freeze were in breach of enterprise agreements.

Ahead of talks with Qantas in Sydney this morning, Mr Oliver said unions would demand to know where the jobs would be cut and the timing. “There are provisions in industrial agreements that we have that commit Qantas to genuine consultation. We don’t view genuine consultation as one where a group of managers meet in a room, come up with a number and then declare it to the world.”

Mr Sheldon, an ALP vice-president, warned his members could take action. He called on the government, in particular Joe Hockey, to hold talks with the airline to fund ways of avoiding the job cuts. “But if Joe Hockey is not prepared to do that then its industrial action the workforce should be considering. We have the right to withdraw our labour.”

But, at least, he is being honest – the Australian taxpayer has to stump up to protect well-paid and feather-bedded Qantas jobs, according to his view of the world.  I guess even he doesn’t expect discerning customers to pay higher Qantas fares for the privilege.

I actually think the government is being quite canny with their response to the situation – it’s all a matter of sequencing.  The first priority is to ditch the Qantas Sale Act (and pressure Labor to support this) and to provide the right incentives for the company to become lean and efficient.

By all means, the board can get rid of Alan Joyce – Sinc’s suggestion, along with lots of others, including the trade union leaders – but I am not sure what that would achieve.  A new CEO would be staring at exactly the same pallette.

To be sure, mistakes have been made by the senior management – Jestar Asia/Jetstar Japan? – but we should not assume that this is an easy business to manage.

And when Virgin Australia, with cheap funds, decided to expand domestic seats, should Qantas have just sat back and watched their market share be eroded?  Looks like a real prisoner’s dilemma.

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30 Responses to Good one, Sheldo

  1. Baldrick

    We have the right to withdraw our labour” … and Qantas has the right to withdraw your job!

  2. Token

    Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon said his members were entitled to consider strike action.

    Sounds like that stock 80s shlocky plot device, put the gun to your head and threaten to kill yourself unless you get your demands.

  3. Token

    To be sure, mistakes have been made by the senior management – Jestar Asia/Jetstar Japan

    We know the execution of the plan failed, but why are we demonising an organisation which attempted to build new markets instead of focusing on using all means fair & foul to chase out competition from the markets its had 65%+ of customers due to the dead hand of government?

  4. Badjack

    Why should the taxpayer be expected to stump up for workers who are on big money and big redundancy packages when the workers in small business get nothing from the taxpayer, earn far less than these people and with minimal redundancy packages. The unions and Labor fight for and represent 18% of the work force. By their actions the unions and Labor are saying the other 82% can kiss the arse of Labor and the unions.

  5. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    I support Tony Sheldon’s call for a strike, because it will hasten the demise of this rotten rent-seeking edifice.

    As the Kaiser’s generals used to say of a conflict, pre-1914: ‘The sooner, the better’.

    Come on Tony! Take the boys out! Be quick about it!

  6. Leigh Lowe

    Remember Sheldon and his Union are one of the targets of the Union Corruption Royal Commission.
    This filthy grub is desperate for a fight to show he is “wiv da wukkers” and portray the Royal Commission as a class warfare attack on the workers.

  7. Badjack

    Sheldon looks sick. Huge weight loss and scabby sores on his mouth.

  8. Badjack

    Judith, you have been around long enough to know that the CEO who presides over the failure of his company is not the CEO capable of resurrecting the company.

  9. Bruce of Newcastle

    When the Royal Commission was announced the five unions specifically mentioned were CFMEU, AWU, HSU, ETU and the TWU.

    We are seeing from Sheldon the attitude which has led to them getting a scheduled anal probing.

    And yes, there have been reports of funny business going on in the TWU.

    If I was a TWU member I’d be ringing up Kathy Jackson for suggestions how to get rid of the power hungry egoists from the heirarchy of my union before they did me out of a job.

  10. the sting

    Scenes of Brer Rabbit,please oh please Tony don’t call a strike.

  11. Peter H

    I am with you badjack, the majority of Australians are not unionists, why should we support them. I have tickets on jetstar and a holiday booked. I will now have to get travel insurance to cover any loss. The unionists can look after themselves, that is all they have ever been interested in anyway. I hope the idiots embark on industrial action, push the company into administration and lose their jobs.

  12. johanna

    Way to go, Tony – the company is on the ropes, so let’s call a strike! We demand that not a single person loses their job, to ensure that it loses even more money!

    I get the feeling that even low-information voters are starting to get the drift on these issues, especially after the car industry and SPC debacles.

  13. Docket62

    I love the unions logic, “how dare you go broke and stop paying us… We have rights you know”

    I’ve had a bit of a back flip on Joyce though! I think he was always employed as the fall guy. They recruited him to be the hard arse, to take the flak, and do the tough things in order to break the stranglehold… And remember this is board sanctioned, so he ain’t the only one making decisions.

    I believe this may be carefully orchestrated. Their balance sheet shows a reserve of cash, they’re not poor. I think this is a well staged, well crafted exercise in breaking free of the chains of labour, and the legislation preventing them from being competitive.

  14. Ant

    If it means running a company into the ground, no union should have the “right” to withdraw their labour. Because that’s stupid.

    An individual worker must have the right to withdraw their labour – ie quit – if they want, without any ramifactions from the company.

    But this business of a union deciding that it time to whack Qantas when its finances are in the gutter because the union thinks the taxpayers must hand over an open cheque so that the bludgers they represent can keep their lazy arses parked in their cushy jobs is insane.

    Qantas (and the car manufacturers and other companies) have allowed the situation to develop where a redundancy payout looks very attractive to their unionised workforce and they, therefore, don’t consider losing their jobs to be a big deal.

    In fact, for many of them it’s like winning Tatts.

  15. politichix

    Docket62
    #1207244, posted on February 28, 2014 at 9:54 am

    I believe this may be carefully orchestrated.

    Agree. This feels like a game of chess being played at least 20 moves in advance – not just by Qantas but the government too. The unions and Labor/Greens need to smarten up or they are going to come unstuck badly.

  16. Tom

    By all means, the board can get rid of Alan Joyce – Sinc’s suggestion, along with lots of others, including the trade union leaders – but I am not sure what that would achieve. A new CEO would be staring at exactly the same pallette.

    Exactly, Judith.

    The whole process would have been easier if Joyce was an extrovert like Geoff Dixon and not an introverted nerd. But there is no other course than the one that Joyce is steering and people are realising he’s quite a determined little bugger. Clifford certainly won’t be listening to the rabbits in academia and the media.

  17. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Docket62, Politichix – I think you’re right.

    And the unions are playing their parts exactly as expected in the plan.

    Come on Tony! Call a strike now! Pleeeeeeeease call s strike!

  18. Dianeh

    @tonysheldon

    Strike is a great idea. That’ll learn ‘em.

  19. Des Deskperson

    Lay off Tony Sheldon! I think it’s admirable that he’s carved out a career as a union leader when he could have rested on his laurels in the entertainment business as Toni Lamond’s son, Stella Lamond’s grandson and Helen Reddy’s nephew!!

  20. Toiling Mass

    Come on Tony! Call a strike now! Pleeeeeeeease call s strike!

    I would prefer he waited until next Saturday – I have a flight home to Sydney on 7th March.

  21. Fred Lenin

    I take strong exception to the loss of 67 Shop Steward Jobs at Quantas,where is the alp going to get its future leadership from when the present people retire on Taxpayer funded ,indexed pensions ,and the money in the Swiss bank accounts? This Abbot Regime is worse than Hitler !

  22. johanna

    Wrong Tony Sheldon, Des. Lamond’s son is an internationally successful playwright, and as camp as the proverbial row of tents. Or am I missing the joke here?

  23. Des Deskperson

    Johanna, it was my idea of a joke!

  24. H B Bear

    Where are Piggy and Mrs Piggy while the mangy roo is going through it’s death throes? Surely Labor’s brightest hope and future leader must have some ideas?

    C’mon Piggy – gotta leave the QANTAS Chairman’s Lounge at some stage.

  25. QANTAS Shareholder

    It might help if someone on the proposed new board knew something about running an airline. Heavens, someone who has run a successful bus company would be better than the present lot. And why has it taken Alan Joyce 5 years to rationalise QANTAS’s fleet with consequent maintenance savings and cut unprofitable routes? Duh! Too late to modernise now, too. It’s like running a taxi company with 1990s Ford Falcons when your competitors have moved on to Toyota Priuses and scratching your head wondering why your fuel bill is so much more than theirs.

  26. Splatacrobat

    Unions striking for jobs would be like fucking for virginity.

  27. Squirrel

    “Des Deskperson

    #1207375, posted on February 28, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    Johanna, it was my idea of a joke!”

    I appreciated it, and took some comfort from learning that I’m not the only one who’s ever had that thought. I also knew, instinctively, that your reference to the other TS was not a subtle swipe at Mr Joyce – whose private life (and if is, of course, just that) was a complete mystery to me until I read some of the comments last night, and then did some googling, with ever-widening eyes.

    “Token

    #1207215, posted on February 28, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon said his members were entitled to consider strike action.

    Sounds like that stock 80s shlocky plot device, put the gun to your head and threaten to kill yourself unless you get your demands.”

    It reminds me of the story – probably apocryphal, but worth repeating – of the dim-witted would be bank robber who turns up at the counter with a duck/goose/chicken (some feathered creature, maybe a turducken) and says “hand over the money, or the duck/goose/chicken gets it”! Anyway, the threat is a useful reminder of how privatisation makes it that much harder to blackmail the government of the day, and through them, taxpayers.

    Finally, agree with Badjack that this Tony Sheldon is not looking well – the stress of coming to terms with the full horror of what has happened, how they got there, and where it is heading, must be quite something. Testing times ahead for the Labor/labour movement.

  28. Infidel Tiger

    “We have the right to withdraw our labour”

    Would anyone notice?

  29. Jo Smyth

    So anybody thinking of flying out of the country in the next 6 months will be insisting they don’t fly QANTAS just in case they strike. Sheldon obviously has a death wish for his union members. I despair!!

  30. Pedro

    “To be sure, mistakes have been made by the senior management – Jestar Asia/Jetstar Japan? – but we should not assume that this is an easy business to manage.”

    Why would we assume business managers should have perfect records? If the owners don’t like Joyce they can dump him. Not really anyone else’s business.

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