Jesus motherloving Christ. If Alan Joyce is making a late bid for Twat of the Year 2011, then he’s eating daylight on his competitors. On Saturday the Qantas CEO shut down worldwide operations of one of the planet’s biggest airlines, in an over-reaction that made King Lear look pretty chill.
Like one of those seasoned chooks you get all ready for roasting, some things come pre-satirised. On Friday, Joyce asked shareholders at Qantas’ annual general meeting to give him a pay rise of 71 per cent, from under $3 million a year to about $5 million. They did. The next day, he shut down their company entirely, because of the “extreme demands” of workers. First prize, Alan. Believe.
Where unions have to give 72 hours notice of any action, Joyce gave zero hours. He stranded 68,000 people worldwide, upended the plans of tens of thousands more, and lost an unquantifiable number of future bookings.
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The Communications Electrical and Plumbing Union say they’ve been trying to negotiate with Australia Post for months and have been left with no choice but to strike three days before Christmas.
Australia Post says they’ve been forced to bump up the numbers of their Christmas casuals to deal with the all the joy and good tidings landing in post boxes around the country. One man’s “Christmas casual” is another man’s “strike breaker”.
Talk about bad timing. Unions clearly go for the holiday season to maximise the impact of their actions. Last week in Sydney the bus drivers walked off the job. British Airways had to scramble to avert a 12 day strike. And now the posties have given themselves a bit of extra time to get the last minute shopping done.