- Dec 6, 2004
It's difficult to see a long-term future for unionised crews at QF.smh.com.au said:Unions fret about backdoor to Qantas
June 6, 2006
The drive by Qantas to cut labour costs has sparked fears within unions the airline could seek to operate more "full-service" international flights with crews from its lower-paying Jetstar, Australian Airlines and New Zealand Jetconnect subsidiaries.
Although the Australian Airlines brand is due to disappear next month when the leisure airline's fleet of five 767s are repainted with Qantas livery, the national carrier will retain its labour agreements with Australian Airlines' 370 employees.
Australian Airlines staff are paid around one-third less than their mainline peers.
This "wet leasing" arrangement has raised talk Qantas could look to contract out more of its international operations to lower-cost subsidiaries. There are suspicions Qantas might even look to sidestep its "mainline" enterprise bargaining agreements by crewing its yet-to-be-delivered fleet of Airbus A380s and Boeing 787s with pilots and cabin crew hired through lower-paying entities.