||Issue No. 334||24 November 2006|
It’s Who The Economy Works For, Stupid
Interview: Common Ground
Industrial: A Low Act
Unions: The Number of the Least
Politics: The Smoking Gun
Economics: Microcredit, Compulsory Superannuation and Inequality
Environment: Low Voltage
History: The Art of Social Justice
Review: Work’s Unhealthy Appetite
Culture: A Forgotten Poet
Silver Lining to Qantas Storm
The Qantas pilots’ union, AIPA, is approaching the private consortium, including Macquarie Bank and Texas Pacific Group in a bid to take a stake in the deal which they say could restore standards to the airline.
In a circular to members this week, AIPA president Ian Woods says that the failure of low cost international airlines overseas places real questions over the JetStar international bventure being pursued by the current board.
"The presence of these funds, whether they make a bid for Qantas, or merely keep a watching brief, will be significant - and not necessarily against the interests of AIPA members," Woods says.
"We are in a position where, on issue after issue we are defending the standards of the airline and where the presence - or threat - of private equity funds may impose a new discipline on these sorts of decisions, then they could be a positive influence."
Other unions have been more wary of the bid, the AMWU calling on Prime Minister John Howard to protect Australia's national interest by intervening to ensure no jobs were lost in any QANTAS take-over.
AMWU National Secretary Doug Cameron says QANTAS was an Australian icon and that Australian workers, share-holders and customers would suffer if air-craft maintenance work was to shift off-shore.
"There should be a national interest test for any take-over of QANTAS," said Mr. Cameron. "QANTAS should not be sacrificed to the millionaires club at Macquarie Bank or any other take-over prospect that might move in and slash Australian jobs."
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