Transport Employees Union made $1 million bid to Qantas earlier than 1700 staff illegally sacked

The Transport Employees Union spent $1m on a proposal to make sure Qantas would proceed using 1000’s of floor workers in the course of the Covid pandemic, a courtroom has been advised.

The union and the airline are at loggerheads within the Federal Court docket over compensation payouts for 1700 staff who have been illegally sacked by Qantas in November 2020.

Following the airline’s announcement about mass lay-offs, the courtroom heard the TWU crafted a proposal “at a substantial value” for the continued employment of the bottom providers workers.

TWU nationwide assistant secretary Nicholas McIntosh defined the provide had concerned cost-cutting components resembling a five-year wage freeze and the migration of full time staff to half time roles.

Nevertheless, he accepted it had not quantified the variety of workers who would make such a shift or the variety of voluntary redundancies to be undertaken.

The courtroom was advised the bid in the end required “important additional session with Qantas” as a result of the ideas must be formalised in industrial agreements.

“We’d agreed to these conceptual factors,” Mr McIntosh stated.

“We have been on the identical dance flooring. We’d have been a good distance from the band, however we have been there.”

Qantas didn’t settle for the union’s proposal and the 1700 roles have been illegally outsourced to cheaper third social gathering contractors.

“We spent round $1m on (consulting firm) Ernst and Younger on behalf of our members to place forth a bid, so it’s disappointing that it by no means had any likelihood,” Mr McIntosh stated.

Qantas’ lawyer Richard Dalton KC advised the courtroom the TWU nationwide assistant secretary had given “problematic” proof primarily based on a “flawed premise” concerning the bid.

He defined Qantas’ resolution to outsource the bottom providers roles was “not a binary alternative” and didn’t require the airline to decide to the union’s in-house provide.

“It was not a proposal that’s able to acceptance,” Mr Dalton stated.

“It was theoretical and at finest an invite to take part in an open-ended, undefined means of discussions and session.”

Justice Michael Lee beforehand discovered the TWU provide had “no actual likelihood” of offering a business profit to the airline, which was fighting the influence of Covid.

“I discover it troublesome to imagine at any stage that Qantas was going to simply accept an in-house bid,” he reiterated to the courtroom on Tuesday.

The Federal Court docket Justice is presiding over a seven-day listening to to find out the quantity of compensation the airline pays to the 1700 staff it illegally fired after rejecting the union’s provide.

The TWU has estimated the airline must pay “many, many tens of millions” in compensation for what it has declared to be the biggest case of unlawful sackings in Australia’s company historical past.

Qantas contends its payout must be mitigated as a result of the workers would have lawfully misplaced their jobs the following 12 months anyway as a result of crippling influence of Covid on the journey business.

Mr Dalton stated the airline had been inspecting “drastic measures to stem the losses”, together with a three-year plan to scale back prices by $1bn, after they made the outsourcing resolution.

The listening to will resume on Wednesday.

Learn associated subjects:Qantas

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