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Greek-Australian Senator Calls for Qantas CEO Inquiry

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce will go through a special Senate inquiry by the end of the month after recent developments and the respective proposal of the independent Greek-Australian Senator Nick Xenophon.  Joyce will be asked to provide explanations for the strategic policies followed by the company and on what he told the Federal Government and the Opposition before his decision of grounding the airline’s entire fleet last weekend.

The company aims at creating several affiliates in Southern Asia countries, which it will later on provide with a series of services, and thus become more competitive by cutting on salaries and staff. This was the main reason that sparked the ongoing industrial disputes of Qantas with three unions related to job security and employment conditions. From the 35,000 current employees more than 1,000 is estimated to be fired if the company goes on with its expansion plans.

These continuous disputes led the CEO to the dramatic decision of grounding all airplanes to the ground on the weekend. Mr Joyce will now be asked about any warnings he gave to either of the main parties before Saturday’s grounding.

The Greek-Australian senator said the inquiry should have the powers of a royal commission. “These actions by Qantas management are just extraordinary,” he said on ABC Radio on October 30. “It has implications going well beyond an industrial dispute. It has national interest implications.”

Each side has made claims against the other. If the Opposition had any forewarning, it should have alerted Parliament to the risk. The Government says it didn’t know about the grounding until 2pm (AEDT) on Saturday, about three hours before Qantas stopped flying, reported The Australian.

The Australian Senate will bring about amendments in two bills concerning the Qantas Sale Act and the preventions of Qantas assets leaking into offshore activities through the use of its Jetstar low cost franchise.

The committee is due to report on November 21.



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