Essays on Disagreement between Three Union Partners of Qantas and Qantas Itself Case Study

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The paper 'Disagreement between Three Union Partners of Qantas and Qantas Itself " is an outstanding example of a business case study.   The industrial disagreement between three union partners of Qantas and Qantas itself can be observed from the context of attempts by Qantas airline to stay viable in a more competitive international as well as domestic aviation environment (O’ Neill 2012). This study details the 2011 bargaining disputes of the enterprise between Qantas and involved parties that comprised of three unions. The industrial dispute between Qantas aviation and its major unions had been taking place for a couple of months.

According to the (O’ Neill 2012), various actions by ground crew workforce, engineers and pilots had collectively and individually made sure that people charged with managing the Qantas could not run it with certainty. In addition, management could not guarantee that flights booked by customers would depart and land at designated destinations as scheduled. Sypher (2006) states that the parties that were involved in the dispute of 2011 included Qantas airline and three of its union partners: Australian and International Pilots Association for international pilots; Transport Workers Union for Qantas ground staff; and Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association for licensed airline maintenance engineers.

The position of Qantas aviation on the international market was highly precarious as compared to the domestic market that made Qantas airline to incur losses and lose market share on its operations on the international market (O’ Neill 2012). International market share of Australian Qantas airline, which was determined by the size of international travelling customers, almost fell by fifteen percent in 2010. It actually dropped in the year 2000 from thirty-four percent to nineteen percent in mid-2010.

Moreover, it was observed that the return of Qantas airline on equity was particularly low. Numerous prominent airline analysts pointed out that based on current trends, Qantas aviation would make a positive move if it quit the international operations (Kennett, 2011). In contrast, a major commitment to the international operation was underway with the buying of Boeing 787 along with Airbus A380 aircraft. For the engineers together with pilots, to a greater extent, the late 2011 industrial dispute sought about realizing long term maintenance and operation of aircraft’ s ‘ new generation’ (Flynn, 2011).   To put the operation of Qantas aviation in force, the Qantas airline Group of businesses included a staff of thirty-five thousand and a maximum of forty-eight collective agreements as well as sixteen union partners. The dispute surfaced in October 2011 when Alan Joyce, the chief executive of Qantas airline announced his decision of grounding the international and domestic fleet of Qantas aviation(Flynn, 2011).

The grounding was in response to employees’ action. He wanted to lock out all employees that had participated in the workforce claim action.

To some extent, that was not a good way of conflict resolution. Especially, given that not all enterprise employees nor all Qantas Group staffs were involved directly in the October disagreement. That action by the Qantas’ CEO essentially affected over seventy thousand international and domestic passengers who found their flights had been cancelled without being warned (Flynn, 2011). A total of four hundred and forty-seven flights were cancelled from 4 pm on October 29 2011. As of two days later that month, around three thousand workers involved in Qantas disputes were to be kept off.

However, as public opinion argued, safety could have been ensured by grounding the fleet before implementing the effects of lockouts (Flynn, 2011). The purpose of that action was to realize the termination of actions by union industrial. Fair Work Australia had authorized actions by union partners following the stipulated procedures in the Fair Work Act 2009 for starting to respond to actions in 2011(Flynn, 2011). In the incident, the actions were stopped as Qantas airline became aware of the Act’ s need of re-involvement in the dispute without industrial action.

In situations where employees’ claims were not effectively resolved, they were arbitrated by the Fair Work Act 2009. In that event, Qantas aviation thought it would rely on the conventional reluctance way of industrial tribunals whenever they wanted to meditate on issues of management.


Mohan T. et al (2005) Communicating as Professionals, Thomson Learning Australia.

Sypher, D. (2006). Management Communication Quarterly, Australian Journal of

Communication, Case Studies in Organizational Communication, 22 (4), 642-647.

O’Neill, S. (2012). The gods must be crazy: chronology of and issues in the Qantas industrial

dispute 2011’, Parliament of Australia – Research Publications, accessed on 19 May 2012. Obtained from:

Kennett, J. (2011). QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce upset many Australians by grounding flights, but

at least acknowledged he has eliminated uncertainty to protect our Aussie flagship, Herald Sun. Accessed on 25 May 2012. Obtained from:

Flynn, D. (2011). Qantas shutdown: CEO Alan Joyce's statement in full, Australian Business

Traveler. Accessed on 19 May 2012. Obtained from:

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