– Assignment 2
During 2011 significant industrial relation events took place in Australia. One significant event that was widely reported in the media and according to Catanzartiti and Kane (2012) “captured the interest of the mainstream press more than any other case during 2011”, was the Qantas Airways Limited (Qantas) dispute”.
The Qantas dispute involved varying parties. These parties included Qantas employees and their representing unions, Qantas Management, the Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills Jobs and Workplace Relations and Fair Work Australia
Qantas employees consisted of pilots represented by the AIPA (Australian and International Pilots Association), ground staff represented by the TWU (Transport Workers Union) and licensed aircraft maintenance engineers represented by ALAE (Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association). (O'Neill, 2011) Qantas management consisted of the CEO, Alan Joyce and possibly to some extent the QANTAS Board as Cooper mentions “amid union suggestions that the Qantas lockout had been ‘premeditated’”.(Cooper, 2012) The Minister for Workplace Relations at the time, the Hon Chris Evans, who made application to Fair Work Australia and Fair Work Australia itself (FWA), were also parties to the dispute. “On 29 October 2011 the Minister made an application to FWA to terminate or suspend industrial action at Qantas” (Sangkuhl, 2011). The result of this decision could be seen as instead of employers committing to ‘good faith bargaining’ they could coerce settlement through more forceful action such as employee lock outs. (Sangkuhl, 2011)
2011 was viewed by Brigden (2011) as a turbulent year for unions. “Through lockouts, forced arbitration or by governments using their executive power” employers sought to avoid bargaining processes. (Brigden, 2011) Three separate sets of enterprise negotiations, via their respective unions, were being addressed. Although each employee representative group had its...
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