Qantas steward sacked for drinking ¼ of a bottle of vodka on flight

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The fact is that FAs are the people the passengers look to for guidance in the event of an emergency on a plane so any impairment could affect her ability to competently. Nobody would think twice if it was a construction worker that got fired for drinking on the job but the consequences in both cases could be dire.
 

Quickstatus

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Even if the dismissal was legal, I think it’s harsh.
A return to work plan including a period of suspension, counselling and other treatment may (or may not) be effective, and the return to work conditional on completing whatever plan/course of treatment has been instituted.

Writing people off for something that could be an illness or secondary to some personal issue is not very compassionate.
 

Virgin Bart

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Even if the dismissal was legal, I think it’s harsh.
A return to work plan including a period of suspension, counselling and other treatment may (or may not) be effective, and the return to work conditional on completing whatever plan/course of treatment has been instituted.

Writing people off for something that could be an illness or secondary to some personal issue is not very compassionate.

I agree completely. You can come work where I work.
 

Hvr

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Even if the dismissal was legal, I think it’s harsh.

The Commission found that her termination was not harsh and based on the facts in the article there are at least three offences that would be subject to summary dismissal; drinking whilst on duty in a safety role, lying, and stealing company property.

As a long serving employee she would know the requirements of her role and their importance. Whilst the decision hasn't been published there may well have been other matters in her personnel file that meant the ultimate sanction was reasonable and actually required.
 

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This story makes me sad. What she did was very wrong, there's no doubt about that, but this is not what a happy person does. I feel like if I were at a point where I had made a cry for help like this, losing a job of 30 plus years and being publicly humiliated would just tip a person over the edge. She is in a safety role and this isn't an acceptable way of dealing with things, but 31 years is a long time and we all have our moments.

I feel a compromise could have been reached. I empathise with how tough this stupid decision must have been to deal with afterward.
 

amaroo

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Your (likely) new PM wants to support laws to lock up builders for breach of safety ..... what’s the diff?
 

Ric

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I recall reading from somewhere that when confronted, she lied about the ownership of the Vodka. Something like she repeatedly said she bought it at the Duty Free and then eventually admitting it was from the plane's stock. And a certain Mr. Bull said that if she had been upfront and not lied about the Vodka, the outcome might have been different ….. or something to that effect.


Edit: From Nine News
 
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Happy Trails

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Quickstatus

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This comment by the union rep was interesting:
"He claimed Warr may have lied about stealing the vodka because Qantas flight attendants are trained to always give passengers a positive response even when it is sometimes inconsistent with the truth."

based on multiple interactions with airlines, it’s not just this one that spins the truth
 
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JohnK

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Very sad outcome for 31 years of loyalty.
 

TheInsider

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Qantas flight attendants are trained to always give passengers a positive response even when it is sometimes inconsistent with the truth."

This is correct, they call it 'positive first response', and 'being in the red'. Just more corporate brainwashing and americanisms (brought to you by Mary Gober) being put into Australian culture.

For example:
A customer demands to have chicken instead of beef (but there is no chicken left).
Crew (all staff) are meant to respond in a way where they don't directly decline their demand.

C- "I want the chicken meal"
S - "What i can give you is the beef meal or offer you the vege meal"
C - "But I want the chicken"
S - "What I can offer is the beef or vege meal"

There is meant to be no direct 'negative' responses and always to offer an alternate solution.

C - "I've got an extra bag and I don't want to pay the excess charges"
S - "Today the the additional baggage charges will apply, but next time you travel you can pre-purchase additional baggage at a lower cost"
etc etc etc
 

33kft

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I don't think this is quite as controversial as some are making it out. Many decades ago I was introduced to this by a large telco that I worked for, who took us all in for brainwashing or cultural enrichment or whatever those butcher paper sessions are. I remember we were told to always break bad news in a sandwich - make a positive statement first, break the bad news, then follow it up with a positive statement.

I summarily noted and filed that information, I'm not sure it rubbed off on me but I do remember the lesson so it did have some impact on me. It's not telling people to lie, it's just telling people to consider how to deliver bad news. You can imagine that answering "no" to someone isn't considered the most customer friendly approach. I dare say said union rep is playing up the issue somewhat for the benefit of their client.
 

airbound

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Whilst the decision hasn't been published there may well have been other matters in her personnel file that meant the ultimate sanction was reasonable and actually required.

The full decision (Warr v Qantas Airways Ltd (t/asQANTAS) [2019] FWC 2182) is available at [2019] FWC 2182.
 
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KitKat

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I don't think this is quite as controversial as some are making it out. Many decades ago I was introduced to this by a large telco that I worked for, who took us all in for brainwashing or cultural enrichment or whatever those butcher paper sessions are. I remember we were told to always break bad news in a sandwich - make a positive statement first, break the bad news, then follow it up with a positive statement.

I summarily noted and filed that information, I'm not sure it rubbed off on me but I do remember the lesson so it did have some impact on me. It's not telling people to lie, it's just telling people to consider how to deliver bad news. You can imagine that answering "no" to someone isn't considered the most customer friendly approach. I dare say said union rep is playing up the issue somewhat for the benefit of their client.
Called a [email protected] sandwich! :rolleyes:
 

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Any company that relies on safety above all would have no choice but sacking. Seems harsh but to do anything other would send the wrong signal to staff and of course customers.
 

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Getting the sack is indeed very harsh. Should only be as a last resort.

Sure, I understand that they want to send a message, but I just wonder about the empathy.

30-plus years of service and this is where it ends? No other options available?
 

DC3

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Getting the sack is indeed very harsh. Should only be as a last resort.

Sure, I understand that they want to send a message, but I just wonder about the empathy.

30-plus years of service and this is where it ends? No other options available?

Edit: Yes, I understand the passenger safety issue. There are also jobs where the employee is issued a weapon and ammunition as part of undertaking their duties. Then they are subject to breath-testing. If it's above zero they are relieved of their duties and suspended pending investigation. Result is usually to comply with a Management Plan (including further unannounced breath-testing requirement) on returning to work. That's in the first instance.
 

Hvr

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There are also jobs where the employee is issued a weapon and ammunition as part of undertaking their duties. Then they are subject to breath-testing. If it's above zero they are relieved of their duties and suspended pending investigation. Result is usually to comply with a Management Plan

Just because police go softly softly doesn't mean other organisations have to. Indeed it can be argued that police departments let too many members get away with too much at the expense of public safety.
 
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