SYDNEY - Qantas CEO Alan Joyce is no stranger to clashing with unions. But his extraordinary move to ground the airline's global fleet over labor unrest is his biggest gamble yet and has angered unions, passengers and the Australian government.
The increasingly bitter dispute, which has dragged on since September, covers the sensitive issue of jobs in Australia being outsourced to Asia and even the very survival of the iconic 90-year-old national carrier nicknamed "The Flying Kangaroo."
When the workers go on strike, they disrupt the operations and cause inconvenience to the public. In this interesting case, it is the management of Qantas that took the unusual decision to "go on strike" and ground its operations.
I respect the actions taken by the Australian unions in fighting for the rights and job security of their members. Many businesses find ways to increase their profits at the expense of their workers, and the profits can be absurdly large. I do not know if, in the case of Qantas, the airline has to reduce cost to survive, or just to increase its profits.