Qantas Airways Limited

Dompost on Port Strife

The Dompost editorial is scathing of the Maritime Union this morning:

In the days before Christmas, one of New Zealand’s busiest gateways, Ports of Auckland (POA), was beset by industrial stoppages. The Maritime Union, which has so far mounted four 48-hour strikes, has vowed to strike again next week.

It is so long since the waterfront has been held to ransom like this that the disruption has made headlines and, in newspaper advertisements, POA chief executive Tony Gibson has apologised to customers while also detailing the terms of his latest offer, “the ninth since negotiations began”. They include a 10 per cent increase in the hourly rate, performance bonuses of up to 20 per cent, retention of existing benefits and provisions, and “full operational flexibility for Ports of Auckland”. No doubt the last is causing unionists most angst. It would allow port management, not them, to manage the business.

The problem has echoes of last year’s Qantas kerfuffle, during which chief executive Alan Joyce took the astonishing step of grounding the fleet worldwide after he and the board could not get the unions involved – including well-paid pilots – to acknowledge the challenges facing international airlines.

The Dompost isn’t the first to suggest that POAL needs to go¬†medieval¬†and follow the Qantas solution. It isn’t as if the unionised workers are poorly remunerated either. It has got people wondering what they are actually striking for.

In these times, the POA offer looks generous. The average annual wage of an Auckland wharfie is about $91,480 – reportedly for a 26-hour week, employees and their families get free medical insurance, and three weeks sick leave entitlement is written into contracts. They also get five weeks annual leave.

There are many workers out there that would love those terms and conditions.

The Productivity Commission last year embarked on an inquiry into international freight transport services, which includes sea ports as well as airports. It must report to the Government by April. One question it has posed is to what extent “inflexible labour practices and difficulties in employer-union relationships” remain an obstacle to improving efficiency and productivity at ports. It is not too hard to imagine that because POA is wholly owned by a left-wing council, its owners have no appetite for an overdue stoush with their trade union friends. The same might be true elsewhere.

Other commission questions also go to the operational heart of the ports business. It asks, for example, what impact local authority ownership of majority stakes in commercial ports has had on the development of a more efficient and productive port sector. CentrePort, for one, seems to be as much a property-development company as it is an enterprise based on imports and exports, though neither owner – Greater Wellington regional council and the Palmerston North-Wanganui equivalent – seems to care. Their ratepayers should.

Though it is mildly diverting to watch from this distance a rerun of 1970 and 80s waterfront strikes in the north, the commission spells out just how inflated freight costs – whatever their cause – increase the price that New Zealanders pay for imported goods, as well as lower the price paid to exporters for their goods. Has the commission the courage to recommend root-and-branch reform? And if it does, will new Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee have the courage to act on it? All Kiwis should hope so

It is high time that dinosaur unions were brought into the 21st century, by force if necessary, either that or exterminate them.

Is this the sort of union nirvana that Labour wants to bring back?

Last week Labour released their employment policies and front and centre in them was a return to the style of union bully tactics we had in the 70s and 80s. Darien Fenton on launching the policy and strategies told us that their plans would resemble the arrangements that Australia “enjoys”.

I wonder how the public in Australia is enjoying their unions now:

Qantas Airways grounded all of its aircraft around the world indefinitely on Saturday due to ongoing strikes by its workers.

The Australian carrier’s entire fleet of 108 aircraft will remain grounded until unions representing pilots, mechanics and other ground staff reach an agreement with the airline over pay and conditions, Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce told a news conference in Sydney.

“We have decided to ground the Qantas international and domestic fleets immediately,” Joyce said.

Flights already in the air when the announcement was made were to continue to their destinations.

Staff will not be required to show up at work and will not be paid starting Monday, Joyce said.

Joyce said he made the decision early Saturday and then gained the approval of the Qantas board.

The airline had been forced to reduce and reschedule flights for weeks because of a series of strikes and overtime work bans over staff concerns that their jobs are being moved overseas.

As is usual the union shave tried to muscle unreasonable demands from the company and as a result the board has decided that it is cheaper for the company in the longrun to shut down for a period of time rather than continue to suffer ongoing unpredictability from stroppy unions.

The tourism industry has been brought to its knees by unions:

“Now we are facing the uncertainty of this decision, forced by the unwillingness of unions to accept the globally competitive nature of tourism and aviation,” he said.

“The 500,000 people directly employed in Australia’s $94 billion tourism industry do not deserve to have their livelihoods threatened by this, which could be the straw that breaks the camels back.”

This sort of thing is precisely what labour has promised to deliver to us after the generale election should they win. Their opening address clearly signals a return to the cloth cap socialism that dogged this nation in the 70s and 80s. Rampant unionsim that saw projects like the Mangere Bridge stalled for year after year after year through industrial sabotage by the unions.

Qantas has shown us what we can expect if Phil Goff and his band of mediocrity are returned to the treasury benches.

Labour unrepentant

Labour is unrepentant over their use of Air New Zealand’s logo in their advertising. Rob Fyfe has written a letter to Phil Goff¬†asking Labour to remove it. As is typical of Labour they have scoffed at¬†the¬†suggestion:

Air New Zealand is accusing Labour of trashing its “beloved” koru symbol in advertising opposing Government plans to sell shares in state assets, including the airline.

Chief executive Rob Fyfe has written to Labour leader Phil Goff complaining that the election advertisement, which is screening on television and the back of buses, “denigrates and debases a symbol that we cherish and one I believe all New Zealanders cherish.”

He said the use of the koru to provoke political controversy was in conflict with its core meaning.

But Mr Goff told the Weekend Herald that far from denigrating the emblem, “we cherish the airline that the [former] Labour Government bought back from the private sector when they bankrupted it”.

As is also usual for Labour, Phil Goff has ignored the nefarious role Helen Clark played in making sure the airline did go broke and riting down millions in losses by mum and dad investors. She burned off both Qantas and Singapore Airlines as potential investors leaving them without any backers, at the same time she broke securities laws by commenting on the financial state fot eh company telling mum and dad investors to hold onto their stakes. Those stakes were subsequently valued at cents on the dollar as the government stepped in and recapitalised the airline selling down the mum and dad investors into small minority holdings.

I think Labour may find that the next step will be lawyers moving to protect the branding of Air New Zealand from political hijackers.

Dumb Unions

via Andrew Bolt

Check out the stupid actions of a union in Australia in imploring people to boycott the company their members rely on for wages:

UNIONS have warned travellers not to buy tickets from Qantas between now and Christmas in a dramatic escalation of a campaign designed to cause maximum disruption to the airline…

‚ÄúI would think that by October the 28th when the Qantas AGM takes place, you‚Äôre likely to see full-day stoppages,‚ÄĚ said Steve Purvinas, the federal secretary of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association.

‚ÄúIf I was a person considering travel over the period up until Christmas, I‚Äôd probably be looking at airlines other than Qantas,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIf I was a passenger, I wouldn‚Äôt be purchasing a ticket with them at this stage.‚ÄĚ

Nice to have?

Thanks to Bill English and the PSA handily focussing on things that are “nice to have”, we can look with a critical eye over things like the Royal NZ Ballet.

Once it was bullets and bombs ‚Äď now the Royal New Zealand Air Force is flying in supplies of tutus and tights.

In a first for the air force and the Royal New Zealand Ballet, all of the ballet company’s sets, costumes and other essential material for its European tour in July will be flown for free to Britain.

The air force also offered to fly some of the 39 dancers and support staff for free, but this was turned down. Instead, the Royal NZ Ballet will fly to Britain in early July with Qantas on discounted economy class tickets.

Why are we subsidising our Ballet to dance for non-New Zealand tax payers? Surely our air force has better things to do that fly taxpayer subsidised liberal elite dancers to the UK. Is it really appropriate too that taxpayer funds are being spent on an airline that has demonstrated its unwillingness to be mates over Christchurch. Qantas aren’t our Mates, they shouldn’t get any money from taxpayers spent on them at all.

I wonder if they are OIAable and if they can tell us how much each pommy bastard is going to pay for his or her ticket, and how much the New Zealand tax payer is subsidising per ticket.

Some poor old granny in Christchurch is probably having to use a chemical toilet because we can’t afford extra people in to fix the sewerage system, but it is ok because we are giving poms cheap seats to the ballet.

I think the Royal New Zealand ballet are certainly one of things that are “nice to have” but given the squeezed financial situation our country is in one of the things that can certainly be chopped out.

Mates – Air Asia X

Air Asia X lands in Christchurch and makes some new friends.

Cut-price airline Air Asia X has landed in Christchurch and pledged a six-figure sum to help restore the earthquake-ravaged city’s heritage.

The first flight from Kuala Lumpur landed at Christchurch International Airport just before midnight to applause and cheers from the approximately 300 passengers who were greeted with a Maori powhiri as they disembarked.

At a ceremony at Westfield Riccarton late this morning, the airline announced a percentage of all tickets bought by travellers coming and out of New Zealand will go into a heritage restoration fund to help repair and rebuild many of the city’s iconic heritage buildings hit in February’s earthquake.

Air Asia X chief executive Azran Osman-Rani said the airline had set itself a target of $220,000 and hoped to reach that figure within a year.

”We appreciate all the support we are getting from our guests and hope this financial gesture will assist in some way to restore Christchurch’s heritage icons,” he said.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker said the money was another amazing gesture from the company which had shown its commitment to the city even after the devastating earthquake.

Some other airlines were reviewing their services into the and out of the city but Parker said Air Asia X had never once reconsidered its agreement with Christchurch.

Still nothing from Qantas. They must be busy – Pity their CEO doesn’t extend his call to include Christchurch, instead they have abandoned the city.¬†Definitely¬†NOT Mates still.

Coca-Cola – Mates

$15 Million Dollar vote of confidence in the dark days.

Whaleoil’s crack marketing team are impressed that the world class, mass consumer brand Coke has had the smarts to invest in Christchurch. Every time a Kiwi opens up a Coke, particularly in Christchurch, they can take pride. Smart marketing byseizing the opportunity to great long term support for Coke in the South Island.

Ironic it is a $15 million dollar investment, in contrast to the Qantas losers who have incompetently lost $15 million dollars since the earthquake. ¬†The damage to the Qantas brand has been in the tens of millions of dollars in New Zealand. If only the Board had heeded Whaleoil’s free advice.

Coke launch today had extensive free media coverage, stories on the lead news bulletin. The Prime Minister was on the news, downing a Coke.

As a pure media stunt the value was worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Meanwhile mean nasty old Qantas has yet to put its hand in its pocket. Not Mates.

Definitely Not Mates – Qantas #eqnz

I labeled Qantas as Not Mates the other day. They have done nothing to rectify the situation. Meanwhile Air New Zealand continues to show why they are Mates and good corporate citizens.

From: New Zealand Society of Hong Kong
Date: Wed, 2 Mar 2011 14:33:52 +0800
To: NZSHK Mailing List 1<
Subject: CHRISTCHURCH EARTHQUAKE : COMPASSIONATE TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Dear Members,

Air New Zealand advises that the compassionate fares for travel in the immediate aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake expire today, 2 March 2011.

A new schedule of airfares is now available for immediate family of victims needing to get back to New Zealand to attend funeral/memorial services and/or to repatriate deceased to their home countries. These are available only through Air New Zealand’s reservations team. The fares are as follows:

  • Adult: NZ$500 one-way or NZ$1,000 return plus taxes (fuel surcharges are waived)
  • Child: NZ$375 one-way or NZ$750 return plus taxes

Restrictions: One date change allowed free of charge for the return portion only; travel to be commenced by 20 March 2011 and completed by 8April 2011.

This is valid from any of Air New Zealand‚Äôs international gateways (e.g.¬†Beijing,¬†Shanghai, Hong Kong and¬†Tokyo). Contact Air New Zealand at: Jonathan Newman +862 6625 5091 Email:¬†[email protected] Address: 5111-12 The Centre,¬†99 Queens RoadCentral, Hong Kong

What does Qantas do?

Well they offer special rates to all sorts of disaster areas….EXCEPT New Zealand.

However we do now have a possible solution fro getting Aussie rescue workers to NZ for substantially less that Qantas’ extortion.

“Qantas also committed to provide flights and additional services to affected areas once the waters subsided; including transport for SES volunteers from interstate.”

Just send the NSW cops through Brisbane!

Qantas are Not Mates, still. make sure you vote with your wallets when it comes to air travel and stop supporting Qantas.

Not Mates – #Jetstar #eqnz

via the tipline

Hi Cam

Neighbours here in Ngaio here had promo airfares that they purchased from Jetstar at $8 per person to take the whole family down to ChCh to the Antarctic Centre for the day and then back to Welly.  A couple of hundy and the whole family would have an amazing day.  The tickets were to be used this Friday but then the earthquake hit.  They thought they should offer these tickets to ChCh people stuck in Welly wanting to get home cheaply and to ChCh people wanting to get out to Welly for a break.  So they call Jetstar.

A call centre in (Waggawagga?) Australia informs them that this is impossible as the tickets are non-transferrable.

Qantas/Jetstar ‚Äď not mates!

Qantas/Jetstar continue to show us they are NOT MATES.

More Mates #eqnz

This morning I blogged on Mates and Not Mates.

I have just received some more information from a tipline source in Sydney about more Aussie mates.

I can report that Dick Smith stores are Mates. They have signs up in their stores asking for donations all over Sydney.

Coffee Club are mates. A a store in Sydney yesterday the owner was all dressed in Red and Black and had signs up asking for donations.

When people realise that my source is from New Zealand they are deluged with offers of support and condolences by even more of our mates from across the Tasman. Plenty of people know what it means to be mates.

Qantas and their subsidiary are still Not Mates.

Yesterday there was this news about Jetstar where they tried to stiff a nurse who helped out in a mid-air emergency. Jetstar are Not Mates and this just confirms it.

So far our Mates are:

Air New Zealand, Coffee Club, Dick Smith, Fonterra, Kiwishops

UPDATE:¬†The two “Kiwi shops” in Perth have set up donation boxes to collect from local ex-pats.

Not our Mates are:

Qantas, Jetstar