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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Qantas CEO ordered into mediation with union to resolve compensation for sacked employees Specific Instances

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A federal court docket decide has ordered the brand new Qantas chief government, Vanessa Hudson, to attend mediation proceedings with a union chief to settle compensation and penalty claims, with the invoice for illegally outsourcing 1,700 employees probably working into the tons of of thousands and thousands of {dollars}.

On Wednesday, authorized representatives for Qantas and the Transport Employees’ Union (TWU) instructed the federal court docket they have been open to a mediation course of to settle the ultimate compensation stemming from their long-running authorized battle. The airline finally misplaced the case final week when the excessive court docket unanimously upheld a full federal court docket determination for shedding employees at 10 airports in November 2020.

In July 2021 the federal court docket dominated Qantas’s outsourcing of the employees was partly pushed by a want to keep away from industrial motion, which is a breach of the Honest Work Act.

It’s understood that compensation and penalties may enter the tons of of thousands and thousands.

On Wednesday, Justice Michael Lee mentioned he was hopeful the events – who’ve maintained a combative relationship through the tenure of former Qantas CEO Alan Joyce – may now “resolve their variations” at mediation.

Lee mentioned he needed Hudson and the TWU nationwide secretary, Michael Kaine, to attend mediation proceedings with legal professionals. Lee was open to the union’s request for 2 affected former workers to even be current on the hearings.

“I’ve a really sturdy view concerning the want for folks to be invested on this course of on the highest ranges … [for] individuals with authority to settle the declare of statutory compensation on behalf of all events, together with the secretary of the applicant (Kaine) and the chief government officer of the primary respondent, Ms Hudson,” Lee mentioned.

Richard Dalton KC, representing Qantas, mentioned the orders “mustn’t particularly require the attendance” of Hudson. He requested if Andrew Finch, Qantas group’s normal counsel and firm secretary, may attend as a substitute.

Lee responded: “I don’t need it to be attended to by a lawyer. I need the chief government officer to be current along with the individual main the union to be there.”

Lee mentioned requiring Hudson and Kaine to debate the matter was applicable “to maximise the prospects of the settlement”.

Mark Gibian SC, representing the TWU, mentioned the union needed an open court docket course of to find out compensation so it was a clear course of for affected workers, however famous mediation can be more cost effective and require much less assets.

Gibian mentioned the mediation course of ought to cope with compensation for employees and penalties for Qantas individually. “We don’t want there to be any notion that the decision of 1 shall be traded off because the decision of one other.”

Richard Dalton KC, representing Qantas, mentioned he believed compensation and penalties could possibly be negotiated collectively.

Lee ordered that legal professionals from either side attend a instructions listening to on Monday to find out the mediation course of.

If mediation fails, proceedings will proceed within the federal court docket.

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