With news of a ‘freeze’ on the Jetstar part time contract offer the chances that Qantas group operations will be impacted by lawful or ‘protected’ strike action before the end of this financial year on June 30 continue to diminish.

That means that the only chance Qantas and Jetstar management will have to blame someone else for their failings now lie with a resumption of volcanic activity in Iceland, and it isn’t clear yet if nature will be so kind.

Consider this. Investors and many customers are fed up with the performance of the Qantas Group, which is dismal compared to its major long haul competitors. Without tangible damage from the unions, and with the continued desertion by customers of its long haul services, who really is to blame?

Smarter, better competitors? Or just second rate decisions on fleet, product, network and scheduling, added to a loathing for the Jetstar product?

Unhappy investors are probably more capable of forcing change in the management and oversight of Qantas than the unions. One of the critical signs of management failure is an inability to deal in a timely manner with labor relations.

For Qantas to allow the EBA negotiations with the pilots, licensed engineers and other sections of its work force to drag on to the very last minute may also reflect badly on those industrial associations. But it is management’s responsibility to deliver the outcomes, and it has failed.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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