Investors backed Qantas with shares rising 5% in early trade on the Australian Stock Exchange after Fair Work Australia at 2am today ruled unions engaged in industrial action against the national carrier were no longer able to strike and gave the warring parties 21 days to reach a binding agreement or face compulsory arbitration. Qantas boss Alan Joyce shut down all its services on Saturday night in a sensational bid to force the situation – a strategy that appears to have worked, at least in the short-term.

Here, according to the Sydney Morning Herald, is a breakdown on what the warring parties actually want:

Australian and International Pilots Association

  • No outsourcing of jobs
  • 2.5 per cent pay increase, each year, for three years
  • Industrial action so far limited to public relations, advertising and in-flight announcements

Transport Workers Union (representing ground staff, baggage handlers and catering staff)

  • same industrial agreement for all Qantas workers who are TWU members
  • access to independent umpire
  • No outsourcing of jobs
  • Job security
  • 5 per cent pay rise per year, with additional 1 per cent in superannuation protected against rise in CPI


  • Rejection of unions claim
  • TWU members paid 12 per cent higher than their equivalents at Virgin
  • Pilots earn 50 per cent more than peers at Virgin
  • Unions want to be paid to do work that no longer exists with advent of new aircraft
  • Not one job will go as a result of Qantas expanding to Asia
  • In modern world, no company can promise a job for life
  • Job security comes with running a strong business 
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