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Friday, September 22, 2023

Qantas layoffs harm its reputation

Australia’s highest court has ruled that Qantas Airways unlawfully terminated 1,700 ground workers during the pandemic, further damaging the reputation of the country’s most complained-about business. The High Court of Australia rejected Qantas’ appeal against a previous judgment that deemed the airline’s staff cuts illegal. As a result, Qantas now faces penalties and compensation payments to the affected workers.

In late 2020, Qantas outsourced ground-handling operations at 10 Australian airports due to the pandemic’s impact on aviation. Union leaders argued that the staff layoffs were an attempt to avoid negotiations on pay, conditions, and potential strikes.

This ruling follows a recent lawsuit by Australia’s competition regulator, which accused Qantas of selling fake seats on thousands of flights that had already been canceled. The airline’s CEO, Alan Joyce, expedited his departure in response to these allegations.

Following the court’s decision, Michael Kaine, the National Secretary of the Transport Workers Union, called for the resignation of Qantas Chairman Richard Goyder and the entire board. Qantas is scheduled to hold its annual general meeting on November 3, where the fallout from these events is expected to be a significant topic of discussion.

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