Crisis at Qantas: pilots and shareholders call on the president to resign

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An Australian union representing pilots Qantas has called for the resignation of the airline’s chairman in a damning letter that outlines a plethora of grievances. Echoing this, the shareholders of Qantas also demand the resignation of the president Richard Goyder.

The Australian and International Pilots’ Association (AIPA) confirmed on September 26, 2023 that the union’s president, Captain Tony Lucas, had written to the airline’s new CEO, Vanessa Hudson, about President Richard Goyder. Lucas explained that ” THE pilot morale of Qantas has never been lower » and questioned how Australia’s flag carrier can reset the culture while the president remains in office.

“Qantas is more than just an airline: it is a symbol of national pride and confidence. For our great national carrier to thrive, it needs the leadership of a board that understands the value of its employees, respects its customers and can regain the trust of the nation.”, writes Tony Lucas. Qantas has come under scrutiny after losing a legal battle with a union over the layoff of 1700 employees on the ground during the Covid pandemic to replace them with outsourced staff in 2020. She is also being pursued separately by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for the alleged advertising and ticket sales for the airline. Among other hot issues inherited from Alan Joyce, Qantas management is suspected of having put pressure on the Canberra government to prevent Qatar Airways to offer more flights to Australia. Qantas also revealed that it paid Alan Joyce, its former CEO who took early retirement at the start of September, an annual remuneration of $21.4 million Australians (US$13.8 million) for the 2023 financial year, a tenfold increase from the previous year.

“Richard Goyder oversaw one of the most damaging periods in Qantas’ history, which included the illegal dismissal of 1,700 workers, allegations of illegal marketing of canceled flights and a mismanaged return to operations post-COVID. 19″supports Tony Lucas in his letter. The union also claimed that the president was ” deaf “ after accepting a pay increase while employee salaries continued to be frozen. “Despite overseeing the destruction of the Qantas brand, Goyder last week agreed to a pay rise of almost $100,000, taking his salary to $750,000, while staff are expected to accept a pay freeze of two years. “It’s an exasperating and tone-deaf decision,” adds Lucas.

The flight of green wood of AIPA pushed the Qantas shareholders to also demand the resignation of chairman Richard Goyder while furious investors are increasingly worried about the growing cost of legal battles and reputational damage and are putting the rest of the board of directors on notice. The Australian Shareholders’ Association (ASA) said Mr Goyder’s tenure as Qantas chairman should end following the legal action from the ACCC regarding phantom flights, a High Court ruling regarding illegally dismissed workers and the fallout from the latest decision of the airline’s multi-million dollar payment to former CEO Alan Joyce. “We believe it is time for (Richard) Goyder to resign”managing director Rachel Waterhouse told The Business.

John Walker Avatar