Statement by Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott on the Qantas Industrial Issues

Following the decision by Fair Work Australia to terminate industrial action between Qantas and unions, the Business Council of Australia calls on the parties to the dispute to work towards an agreement to resolve the issues as quickly as possible in a way that minimises the impact on the economy and serves the long-term interests of the company and its workers.

It is vital for our national economy and the long-term future of Australian jobs that our major industries have the flexibility to remain competitive in an increasingly tough global economy.

The Business Council of Australia has previously raised concerns with the government about the Fair Work Act, and in particular has questioned whether the Act in its current form has sufficient flexibility and whether the rules around enterprise bargaining and options for business restructuring are adequate to support good faith bargaining, enhanced productivity and competitiveness outcomes.

Additional background information: in May 2011 Business Council of Australia Chief Executive Jennifer Westacott sent a letter to the Minister for Workplace Relations seeking amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009. The submission reflected feedback received from BCA member companies during a series of structured sessions to monitor the impact of the Act. Some 50 companies contributed their experiences. The submission is available here.