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Qantas - Redundancies in Cairns

In: Business and Management

Submitted By sbreb
Words 1775
Pages 8
Of recent times, there has been a nationally recognised issue regarding employment within not only Australia, but on a national scale also. In Australia, generally the manufacturing and mining industries have been recognised as being subject to fluctuation particularly in relation to long – term employment and job stability. This can be attributed to the high cost of labour and production that Australia currently experiences and the decreased expense of importing both labour and products.
For this purpose however, we will be primarily looking toward the prevalent employment issue surrounding Qantas Airlines. Of late, there has been much media attention placed upon this matter and particularly who will be specifically affected by anticipated business structure alterations and cost saving measures presumed to be put in place in the near future within the internationally acclaimed organisation. Qantas Airlines are looking to areas of the country that don’t necessarily make the desired level of profit for the company as a whole and are also reducing the amount of useless company bases located both internationally and within Australia.
Of particular interest and concern are job losses that will take place within the coastal city of Cairns. It can be noted from the article provided that not only are Qantas performing these redundancies very severely but also in an insensitive and unaccommodating manner. Currently, 110 Cairns employees will lose their permanent full – time positions to redundancy. Qantas staff were to attend an hour long meeting at the Reef Hotel Casino on the 27th of February where the following announcement was made;
“Employees have two and a half months to move to a major Qantas base of their choice or accept a voluntary redundancy payout.”
A Qantas spokeswoman announced that the closure was due to a reduction of flights to Cairns over the past three years making the base “unviable” however, reassuring customers of the fact that this particular announcement had no impact upon the company’s Cairns base services to the public.
These redundancies can be described as a ruthless and is quite frankly an insensitive and unnecessary business proposition. Accompanying this, loyalty to their long serving employees perceptibly is no longer of a concern for Qantas. This can be seen in the number of employees that have worked for the company for a lengthy period of time that are obviously “disappointed with the little notice received on ‘D-Day’”. Some of these employees have been with the organisation in excess of 10 years and essentially deserve more than a payout for the potential loss of their livelihood. Many who have been a part of the organisation for a long time will have little experience in other areas which will make things somewhat difficult to find a replacement job in Cairns.
These reductions also poses an alternate unforeseeable issue for these people as there now is a larger pool of possible recruitment candidates to choose from for the other airline companies. In time we can expect a greater number of redundant positions being made public all over the nation in a bid to create cost saving measures. This essentially means the competition will be greater than ever among the aviation industry and in particular, currently the port located in Cairns.
“Everyone is based in Cairns because they want to be. But now we don’t have a choice. We will have to move if we want to stay within the company. Its not the first time for this for so many of us affected. Do you get a bit more resilient? Kind of. Does it get any easier? No. It’s business”. – A disgruntled former employee (No name provided).
In terms of looking at the scenario in a demographic nature, concerns can be raised in regard to the employment status of the major income earning individual within the family. At this stage, it looks as though some families will go through considerable hardship and difficult times while the main income earner is looking for a new employment position. This can be an added stress put upon Australian families that they shouldn’t have to go through. In terms of single individuals that work for Qantas, their employment opportunities hang in the balance as many of them will be of the age where starting a family may be of significant priority. This essentially leaves single individuals with the ideology that they will have to leave building a family until later on in their lives, because they currently don’t have a stable enough income to support these life choices.
From a legal standpoint, there is not a lot that can be done to correct the situation at hand. When a company states that business restructures are to take place in order to save on heavy costs, there is not much that the law can do to help employees. The legalities behind dismissal however could potentially work within the employees favour. If they were to approach an individual working within the legal system and expressed that they believe that they have been a victim of wrongful termination, further investigation could potentially take place. Employees would need to obviously provide sufficient and substantial evidence to prove this accusation. If this situation were to take place, we would probably find that Qantas would pay out a considerable amount of money in order to veer media attention away from what could seem like negative misconduct appearing within their nationally acclaimed company.
Essentially, Qantas is looking to have little or no staff based in Cairns for the coming years. It is said that they are looking at alternative employees staffing the port but being based elsewhere. In saying this, questions may be raised as to how this is a cost saving measure as there are added costs of flying in and transporting their employees home.
Qantas Airlines may think that they are performing cost saving measures to maximise their profit holdings however, long term customers will see what the airline is becoming and essentially will look for a more loyal transportation company to travel with. Customers, in all industries value loyalty, trust and reliance. Currently, there seems to be none of these qualities present within this particular company in terms of their devotion to their ‘valued employees’.
From the findings surrounding this issue, I believe that Qantas’ efforts to save dollars should be focussed in another area that is of substantial cost to the company. Employees are what drives a company to either succeed or fail and removing them from the company is a double sided problem. Not only does it affect the employees significantly, but it also disadvantages the company as a whole. This particular port in Cairns will not be able to function to full capacity without a band of permanent staff members and this is an enormous task to place upon the staff members that would have to be flown in to accommodate for the shortage - not only in terms of their workload, but also what is expected of them outside of working hours. Qantas needs to take a drastic look at what measures they want to take for future cost saving measures. They also need to take a significant look at what loyalties they owe to their valued employees and essentially, also their valued customers.
I think that in order to take move forward in overcoming this issue of job loss, it would be a wise decision for the government to make a financial investment within the industry. Travel, both domestically and internationally has become a worldwide phenomenon that people yearn for. For this reason, it is necessary to invest in an industry that brings international dollars into the country and also promote our nation as a whole on a worldwide tourism destination.

Related Article:

Far North jobs axed as Qantas bails out of Cairns * by: Anika Hume and Peter Michael * From: The Cairns Post * February 28, 2014 8:14AM

JOB LOSS: Qantas is set to close its Cairns base. Source: AFP
QANTAS will close its Cairns cabin-crew base in less than three months, forcing 110 local workers to be redeployed to a capital city or lose their jobs.
Executives held an hour-long staff meeting at the Reef Hotel Casino yesterday, where they announced employees had two-and-a-half months to move to a major Qantas base of their choice or accept a voluntary redundancy payout.
A Qantas spokeswoman said the closure was due to a reduction in flights to Cairns over the past three years making the base "unviable".
She said the announcement had no impact on the company's Cairns services.

JOB LOSS: Qantas called a meeting of all its Cairns staff at the Reef Casino to talk about job losses. Staff leaving the meeting. Pic: Brendan Francis
One affected Qantas worker, a Cairns resident for more than 10 years, said he was disappointed to receive little notice, describing yesterday as "D-Day" for all involved.
"There's no good way to deliver this news a lot of local families will be affected, there will be a huge flow-on effect to the community," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"Everyone is based in Cairns because they want to be. But now we don't have a choice.
"We will have to move if we want to stay working in the company."
He was one of many ex-Australian Airline crew absorbed into Qantas short-haul after Australian Airlines was shut down in 2008.Others are ex-Ansett and Flight West cabin crew who were affected when both airlines collapsed in 2001.
"It's not the first time for this for so many of us affected," he said.
"Do you get a bit more resilient? Kind of. Does it get any easier? No. But it's business."
Cairns Airport chief executive, Kevin Brown, said Qantas was a valued airline partner for Cairns Airport.
"We understand the pressures the current aviation industry environment presents to full-service airlines and Qantas's unique position as the national Australian carrier."
"We are deeply disappointed at the loss of the Qantas cabin crew base here in Cairns which will see jobs cut from the region.
"Qantas has stated that there are no impacts on their Cairns services as a result of their announcement, so we expect they will operate these flights using away-based crews."
The news comes after the embattled airline yesterday announced a six-month profit loss of $252 million and its intention to reduce its fleet size and slash 5000 full-time jobs nationally over the next three years.
"This performance by our airline is unacceptable and the current situation is unsustainable," Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, who will take a 36 per cent pay cut, said.

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