(Sydney, Australia) The news of Qantas CEO Alan Joyce receiving over $10 million in shares as part of the company’s long-term incentive and Covid recovery retention plans has been met with shock, disbelief and incredulity from unions representing Qantas workers.
The announcement of Joyce’s substantial share award came shortly after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) indicated it may fine Qantas a record amount if allegations of the airline selling cancelled tickets are proven true.
ACCC takes Legal action against Qantas over canceled flight tickets
The ACCC recently initiated legal action against Qantas, accusing the airline of false, misleading, or deceptive conduct for selling tickets for flights that had already been canceled.
In addition to this, Qantas faced criticism for lobbying the government against a bid by Qatar Airways to increase its flight operations into Australia.
TWU national secretary Michael Kaine expressed strong dissatisfaction with Joyce’s bonus, stating that it was unjustifiable given the challenges Qantas has been facing, including court challenges from workers, safety regulators, and a class action from disgruntled customers.
Kaine also emphasized the need for a “total reset” in Qantas’ approach to jobs and standards in aviation.
The Australian Services Union’s assistant national secretary, Emeline Gaske, echoed these sentiments, calling the bonuses inappropriate given the layoffs, job outsourcing, and wage freezes that occurred during the same period.
Joyce defended the bonuses, noting that they were meant to thank employees who played a crucial role in Qantas’ recovery during the pandemic.
He emphasized that more than 21,000 employees would share approximately $340 million in bonuses.
Alan Joyce is set to step down as Qantas CEO in November after 15 years in charge of the airline.