||Issue No. 297||03 March 2006|
Interview: Court's in Session
Industrial: Whose Choices?
Politics: Peter's Principles
Environment: TINA or Greener?
History: Its Not Just Handshakes and Aprons
International: US Locks out Jose' Bove
Education: No AWA - No Job
Culture: Jesus was a Long-Grass Man
Review: Charlie the Serf
The Locker Room
What's Going On?
Skills Base Up In The Air
Business Council heavyweight, Geoff Dixon, continues to dangle the threat of off-shoring 2500 heavy maintenance jobs over stalled EBA negotiations with the AMWU and AWU.
Dixon's strategy flies in the face of an assurance he gave workers that he would talk jobs with their unions once the Federal Government handed down its aviation policy.
Canberra announced, last month, that Singapore Airlines would continue to be frozen out of the lucrative Sydney-Los Angeles route.
But, as late as last week, Qantas spokespeople were refusing to be "pushed" into announcing whether or not they would make good on their threat to export Australian jobs to low-cost Asian workshops.
Angry Qantas maintenance workers staged noisy protests at Melbourne and Sydney airports, last week.
An airline bid for Section 127 orders against the workers was thrown out by the Industrial Relations Commission which said Qantas hadn't made out a case and that workers concerns were understandable.
Unions are unwilling to get down to the nitty-gritty of massive clawback claims while everybody's future is up in the air.
"We are not going to engage in bargaining that will reduce terms and conditions. Qantas is the world's most profitable airline with the best maintenance record," AMWU national official Glenn Thompson says.
"Maintenance workers are sick to death of being used as political pawns when the safety and reputation of the airline rests in their hands.
"We want Qantas to level with us, and enter discussions about the future of heavy maintenance.
"There are more effective ways of addressing costs than simply slashing jobs or cutting the living standards of Australian families."
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