ITF unions show worldwide solidarity on Qantas action day

November 18, 2011

Union members from around the world staged protest and other action on 16 November to show their solidarity with the workers of Australian airline Qantas. Protesters gathered outside the Australian High Commission in London as part of Qantas action day, coordinated by the ITF to demonstrate support for airline employees engaged in an ongoing dispute with management over job security and wages.

Qantas solidarity action

Workers represented by ITF-affiliated unions, including the Transport Workers’ Union (TWU), Australian and International Pilots’ Association (AIPA) and Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers’ Association, are pushing for guarantees and good faith negotiations from Qantas amid fears that there are potential plans to cut labour costs by outsourcing jobs overseas. The dispute came to a head when Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce made the controversial decision to lock out the workforce on 30 October, causing disruption and distress to Qantas workers and their families, as well as hundreds of thousands of airline passengers.

At this stage the national industrial tribunal, Fair Work Australia, intervened, setting a 21-day period for an agreement to be reached between the unions and management before taking the case to compulsory arbitration.

In addition to the London rally, Qantas action day was marked by unions outside a number of Qantas offices and airports around the world. Locations included Hong Kong, Jakarta, Tokyo, New Zealand, various cities across the USA, Makati City in the Phillipines and Singapore.

See photos and footage of union members in action and find out more about the background to the Qantas dispute on the Qantas campaign page.

Watch the video of the rally in London on Qantas action day.

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