airlines to suffer in case of war/ proposed qantas

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    War could force sackings


    UNIONS have accused Qantas of leaking a plan to sack 2500 workers if war breaks out with Iraq to boost its share price.

    The Australian Services Union (ASU) and Transport Workers Union (TWU) are seeking urgent meetings with the airline after reports today of the scheme to shed staff and cut labour costs.
    A spokeswoman for Qantas refused to confirm the reports and said executives would be happy to field questions on the matter during a schedled profit announcement tomorrow.

    Qantas is due to report its six months to December 31, 2002 results, with analysts expecting a net profit of $300-$350 million.

    The airline reported net profit for the six months ending December 31, 2001 of $153.5 million, after its international operation slumped into the red because of the post September 11 drop in international travel.

    ASU assistant national secretary Linda White said today Qantas had not discussed the job loss plan with unions and accused the airline of trying to boost its share price ahead of tomorrow's report.

    "Exactly to the day two years ago, they did exactly the same thing," she said.

    "They announced 2000 jobs were going to go, boost the share price, everyone looks like a hero and it's absolutely outrageous.

    "Of course there will be an effect from the Iraq war, of course there will some effect, but job losses are not the first way to go."

    Any war with Iraq is predicted to cause a downturn in international travel of up to 20 per cent.

    This report appears on

    Anyone game to short Qantas soon as the first shot is fired?

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