Australian carrier Qantas yesterday said it would cancel 28 flights and delay 27 because of a ground staff strike this week that would affect more than 6,000 passengers.
The move was announced as a security breach at Sydney airport saw the travel plans of thousands thrown into chaos, with the Qantas domestic terminal evacuated and about 2,000 passengers rescreened, delaying at least 14 flights.
“The Australian Federal Police has been notified and Qantas will be conducting a full investigation into how the incident was allowed to occur,” Qantas said.
Similar problems occurred at airports in Sydney and Melbourne earlier this year.
It was an unwelcome distraction as the embattled airline prepared for today’s nationwide walkout, which will see staggered four-hour strikes involving about 4,000 staff throughout the morning peak period.
Canberra will be hit between 3:30pm and 7:30pm, with cabin cleaners, baggage handlers and catering crew all taking part.
Qantas said the action had forced it to cancel 28 flights and defer another 27 by up to 35 minutes. Delays could linger for up to two days due to bans on paperwork and other jobs.
It hopes to meet the problems by deploying larger aircraft and using management staff in ground roles.
The Transport Workers Union (TWU) said the strike would involve both domestic and international staff, but Qantas said there would be no impact to international services “at this stage.”
“The TWU is intent on causing disruptions to Qantas passengers and we are doing everything we possibly can to reduce the delays and cancellations,” Qantas executive Olivia Wirth said. “We have been in negotiations with the TWU since May and are willing to offer reasonable pay increases. We encourage the TWU to remain at the negotiating table instead of going on strike.”
TWU lead negotiator Scott Connolly said the move followed a breakdown in contract talks and the airline’s recent announcement of a major Asia-focused restructure that will see 1,000 staff laid off.
Unions claim the move will “trash” the Qantas brand, cost jobs and erode local working conditions, also accusing Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce of hypocrisy of pocketing a 71 percent pay increase to A$5 million (US$5.19 million) as he axed jobs.
“Employees built the Qantas business and the Qantas brand, and they’re the company’s best asset,” Connolly said. “Qantas is selling out its staff, and trying to outsource all the labor it can in a zero-sum game of short-term hyper-profits.”
Qantas is locked in a bruising industrial dispute with the unions over pay and conditions, aggravated by last month’s Asia rebranding announcement.
Pilots and engineers are already undertaking low-level industrial action, but have threatened to escalate their campaign.
Pilots’ Union leader Barry Jackson said 22,000 people had so far signed a petition against outsourcing Qantas captains’ jobs, and they remained hopeful about talks with management “to avoid the escalation of this dispute.”
Qantas last month reported annual net profit of A$250 million — double that of last year.
Softbank Group Corp plans to keep a stake in the chip designer Arm Ltd, even if it sells a partial interest to Nvidia Corp, the Nikkei reported. The companies are negotiating terms, the newspaper reported, citing sources. Softbank might take a stake in Nvidia after it buys Arm, the report said. Nvidia and Arm might also merge through a share swap, and Softbank would become a major shareholder in the combined company, it said. The two parties aim to reach a deal in the next few weeks, the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Nvidia is the
END TO SPECULATION: The hotel’s management contract has been extended, despite reports that it wanted to end its alliance with Hyatt Hotels over a deal with Riant Capital Singapore-based Hong Leong Hotel Development Ltd (豐隆大飯店股份) yesterday said it has extended a management contract to ensure the continued presence of the Grand Hyatt brand in Taipei, ending rumors that the two sides were parting ways. “We are pleased Hyatt is able to come to terms on the extension of the management contract of Grand Hyatt Taipei,” said Kwek Leng Beng (郭令明), executive chairman of City Developments Ltd (城市發展) and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels Ltd (千禧國敦酒店). Hong Leong Hotel Development is a subsidiary of Millennium, and both fall under the Hong Leong Group (豐隆集團). The Grand Hyatt Taipei (台北君悅大飯店), owned and built by
Gold surged to a fresh record on Friday, fueled by US dollar weakness and low interest rates, while silver headed for its best month since 1979. Spot bullion is up more than 10 percent this month, as US real yields lingered near record lows. While the ferocity of rallies in gold and silver cooled in the middle of the week, most market watchers predict there might be more gains ahead. Both metals have added about 30 percent this year, with gold and silver exchange-traded funds boosting holdings to a record, as concern about the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic fuels demand for
MOVING FROM CHINA? The article did not name the company, but Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron were among firms chosen for a production-linked incentive plan in India An Apple Inc vendor is looking at shifting six production lines to India from China, which could result in US$5 billion of iPhone exports from the South Asian nation, the Times of India reported, citing people familiar with the matter who it did not identify. The establishment of the facility would create about 55,000 jobs over about a year, the newspaper reported, not naming the Apple vendor. It would also cater to the domestic market and expand operations to include tablets and laptops, the newspaper reported. Samsung Electronics Co and Apple’s assembly partners are among 22 companies that have pledged 110 billion