Teamsters Condemn Qantas CEO Alan Joyce for Attack On Workers

Oct 30, 2011, 10:53 ET from International Brotherhood of Teamsters

As Largest U.S. Transportation Union Takes Local Action to Stand with Aussies, Teamster Delegation to Sydney, Melbourne Remains "Stranded in Solidarity"

WASHINGTON, Oct. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Brotherhood of Teamsters calls on Qantas CEO Alan Joyce to end his campaign to destroy good Australian jobs. The Teamsters stand in solidarity with the tens of thousands of locked-out airline employees who dedicate their working lives to help their company succeed.

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The Teamsters Union represents the international crew that handles Qantas (QAN:AU) freight. Members of the Teamsters Airline Division and others are staging U.S. demonstrations to support the locked-out workers.

"Joyce's lock-out will cripple Qantas and damage working families in Australia as well as Qantas airline workers around the world," said Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa. "We stand with our brothers and sisters Down Under. We demand this CEO stop his war on workers, passengers, the public, and the company's performance."

A Teamster delegation hosted by members of the Transport Workers Union and its National Secretary Tony Sheldon are now stranded in Sydney. Two days earlier, senior officials and a transportation worker from Los Angeles attended the Qantas annual general meeting (AGM). At the meeting, Joyce and the board of directors were attacked for engaging in labor relations that erode Qantas' brand, quality of safety and service, as well as for other incompetent maneuvering that undermines shareholders' interests.

Media, political, and industry observers say Joyce's costly decision to freeze Qantas' entire fleet is an unprecedented retaliation against workers in Australia. The nation has constructive relations with strong industrial unions to help companies compete through collaborative strategies that serve labor and management alike.

Qantas employees represented by the TWU and other major unions have united to negotiate a contract that curbs outsourcing of Australian jobs. Outsourcing makes passengers and crew more vulnerable to safety problems and flight disruptions. However, Qantas management has rebuffed the pilots, flight attendants, baggage handlers, ticket agents and other workers for months.

The Teamster delegation traveled to Sydney and Melbourne to educate TWU's unionized transportation workers about the substandard pay and deplorable workplace conditions that America's truck drivers endure at the hands of their Australian-based employer, Toll Group. The two unions vowed to support joint strategies to overcome Toll and Qantas' anti-union practices in both countries.

Founded in 1903, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters represents 1.4 million hardworking men and women in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico.  

SOURCE International Brotherhood of Teamsters