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‘Mean bonus’ anger set to erupt at Qantas AGM

October 16, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Qantas can expect some fireworks at its annual general meeting later this month, as unions demand answers on why their members are not getting bonuses after the airline’s record profit, when chief executive Alan Joyce has reportedly received a bonus of nearly AUD 2 million.

The stupendous Qantas result will have delighted many shareholders, but the workers are less enchanted.

The Qantas AGM will be held on Friday 26 October 2018 at 11am at the Hilton Hotel Ballroom Level 5, 190 Elizabeth Street Brisbane, and unions are preparing. Resentment over the issue of bonuses extends from pilots to ground workers.

The Australian Services Union (ASU) has confirmed it will send representatives to the AGM “to ask the board why we are not getting our bonuses”.

“Alan Joyce’s base pay may have been frozen since 1 July 2011- (it is still a cool AUD 2,125,000) and he has a cash bonus of AUD 1,995,000 for this year which is up 12% from 2017,” the union stated.

“There is also a share rights plan which is extremely generous.”

The ASU has sent meeting notices and proxy forms to staff who are shareholders.

Shareholders are once again being asked to vote on the re-election of directors, the remuneration report, the long-term incentive plan for Alan Joyce and a constitutional change.

“Over a number of years the ASU has recommended voting against the remuneration report – nothing changes that view particularly given the mean-spirited decision to postpone this year’s bonus for EBA covered staff,” the union said in a statement.

It says that apart from Joyce’s pay, “the board chairman and directors have had substantial base pay increases between 2017 – 2018 and their total packages range between AUD 206,000 to AUD 654,000 for a year’s part-time work.

“The senior executives also have packages with cash bonuses, rights to shares and other benefits. Meanwhile frontline staff are denied a bonus and held to ransom if they exercise their bargaining rights. Enough is enough – we recommend voting no to Alan Joyce’s package and the remuneration report.”

The ASU says four existing directors are up for re-election – Maxine Brenner, Jacqueline Hey, Michael L’Estage and Belinda Hutchinson. The Board is proposing Anthony Tyler also be appointed as a director.

The ASU will recommend voting for the resolution sponsored by the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility to enable shareholder advisory resolutions despite the Board’s recommendation not to.

“If this change to the constitution is successful we recommend voting for the contingent resolution on Human Rights about the carriage of escorted immigration detainees carried by Qantas as well. Members at airports know all too well about these cases and we believe it is beholden on Qantas to commit to heightened due diligence in relation to these passengers.”

Written by Peter Needham

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