Qantas pilots remain proud of their responsible campaign

Qantas pilots remain proud of their responsible campaign

Although the Federal Court did not rule in its favour today, the Australian and International Pilots Association said its members remain proud of the fact that they were the only party involved in last year’s Qantas dispute not to disrupt the travel plans of passengers through industrial action.

AIPA’s Federal Court appeal was against the Fair Work Australia decision of last year, which responded to Alan Joyce’s grounding of the entire Qantas fleet by banning all industrial action, including that of Qantas pilots.

Pilots had argued that the industrial umpire should not have banned their industrial action, which involved wearing red ties and raising awareness, on the grounds that it was responsible and doing no harm to the economy.

AIPA Vice President Captain Brad Hodson said although today’s decision had not gone the way Qantas pilots had hoped, they remained proud of the manner in which they conducted their industrial action last year.

“Obviously we’re disappointed in the court’s decision, because we strongly believed that we were conducting our industrial action in a responsible manner, by raising awareness of what Qantas management were up to without disrupting the travel plans of passengers,” Captain Hodson said.

“That’s why we argued that Fair Work Australia was wrong to step in and terminate our action in response to Alan Joyce’s catastrophic grounding of the Qantas fleet.

“We believed – and continue to believe – that it was deeply unfair for the grossly irresponsible and militant actions of a CEO to be rewarded by terminating a measured and reasonable industrial campaign against his management.

“We respect the court’s decision today, however, we will continue to fight for the rights of Qantas pilots to continue flying Qantas aircraft safely and proudly as they have done for over 90 years.

“We do not believe it is in the best interests of Qantas as an airline to neglect its Australian operations and shift its resources to half-baked plans in Asia.

“Our pilots see themselves as custodians of a proud Australian icon and we will continue to fight for Qantas.

“It is what our members want and it is what the Australian flying public wants.”