A lot of publicity late last week from the
Qantas annual meeting in Canberra with CEO, Geoff Dixon, strongly
supporting the sweeping industrial relations changes proposed by John
Howard and his Government. Here’s one report.

That’s
raised eyebrows among some who know Dixon and his background. For years
he was a card-carrying member of the Labor Party as he advanced through
the public service and then in Ansett and finally in Australian
Airlines.

This is from his CV in the Qantas annual report:
“Prior to his career in the airline industry, Mr Dixon worked for an
arm of the Australian Government Overseas Service (the Australia
Information Service) in Australia and on posting for nine years to the
Australian Missions in The Hague, New York and San Francisco.”

Dixon
was “tight” with quite a few people in the Hawke-Keating Labor
governments. The survivors look on bemusedly as he has got more and
more conservative and hardline in the industrial relations arena. Oh,
Dixon earns $6 million a year piloting Qantas.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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