Qantas 'volunteer' program

By mo | Dec 08, 2018, 06:00 PM
Did anyone hear about this? Seems Qantas is copping a bit of heat for asking staff to volunteer their time (for free) over Christmas.

"The tasks volunteers are expected to carry out include handing out bottles of water and Christmas chocolates to passengers, and helping people find their way around the terminal..." 
"...Qantas said the program "is not about cutting costs, this is about spreading a bit of Christmas cheer during a really busy period"."

Call me cynical, but it seems like this program is exactly what Qantas claims it isn't. Qantas claims that the program is mostly taken up by executives, but I'd imagine that executives could easily volunteer their time without a formal program. 
I'd feel a bit guilty using Qantas's services over Christmas knowing that some staff weren't being paid for their time away from family. 
What do you think?
Poll: Is this program:
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By djtech | Dec 08, 2018, 07:15 PM
It IS voluntary so its not like people who ARE supposed to work aren't getting paid. It's those who doesn't have to work that are being invited to volunteer. Of course, whether that results in a cut of paid staff is another debate but for now, no harm in this.
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By akronflyer | Dec 08, 2018, 08:09 PM
Do it for the sake of the Company , I don't think so.Change the Rules
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By AGoldring | Dec 08, 2018, 09:55 PM
If it’s he Execs, then it’s a good thing for them to be amongst customers, especially during the Christmas rush...
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By mspcooper | Dec 09, 2018, 10:26 AM
AHAHA, and you think the executives would just leave their families and “volunteer” just to meet their customers. Pleaseee
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By aparasher | Dec 09, 2018, 02:27 PM
Here's a thought. Why not some of the executives act as volunteers? This will show Qantas' commitment to genuinely spreading the Christmas cheers.
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By Ross | Dec 09, 2018, 02:48 PM
Yes, unless we see Alan Joyce and the rest of the Senior Executive team out there every shift, every day, we know it is just garbage.
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By Mark L Flintoff | Dec 09, 2018, 04:56 PM
You’re union will have a field day on this one

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By eddies | Dec 09, 2018, 07:22 PM
QF just paid some 10 billion in tax for the first time in over a decade (or something like that), so as if adding irregular goodwill activities could be dubbed as cost cutting measures.

And if QF is like most other businesses, there will be a serious amount of downtime, and lack of work, for admin/liaison staff, so why not get them off their website-browsing backsides and do something, while they are getting paid anyhow. Productivity in the week prior to xmas and nye is low as all get out.

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By moa999 | Dec 09, 2018, 10:09 PM
I heard about Unions trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, this happens at almost every airline and I'd see it as a good thing for most frontline staff.

Christmas is often the busiest time of the year for travel, and a lot of once a year travellers who need more help, so getting leave is hard and many people want it, so frontline airport staff struggle to get time off.

At the same time it is often quiet for many head office groups, and they are encouraged to take leave.

This allows head office staff to not take leave if they want, whilst enabling the frontline staff to get some approved.

I'd think a lot of frontline staff are pretty peeved at the moment... With their union
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By adygry | Dec 11, 2018, 01:45 PM
Qantas are only doing what a number of large companies do over the Christmas break. Go into any Woolies or Coles (or BIG W or K-Mart) and you'll see loads of volunteers from their support offices working in store, filling shelves, bag packing, supporting customers. Support offices are quiet, stores are at their busiest. It makes sense.
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By Boof | Dec 11, 2018, 07:59 PM
It’s not volunteer for free, like some garbage pick up on a Saturday at the beach, it is volunteer your time instead of taking leave over the Xmas period. It has a two way benefit - more staff at the busy time of year at airports, and when it’s quiet in the office those normally on leave can save the leave up for other times in the year. Plus they are getting paid normal salary, it’s not free.

This is the kind of nonsense that is helping to tarnish the union movement. The ASU only shared the first page with the media, not the whole document that outlines how the scheme works. Almost every airline in the world does the same thing and you don’t hear a thing.
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By mo | Dec 12, 2018, 09:57 AM
"It’s not volunteer for free..."

The Qantas memo pretty clearly says 'shift will be voluntary and unpaid' unless it falls within rostered hours, according to the ASU.

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By mo | Dec 13, 2018, 04:59 PM

Looks like the heat got too much for Qantas. They've officially rolled back the program to 'only include 50 senior managers and executives'. Probably how it should have been done to begin with. Claiming the program was targeted at executives but then including lower-paid front-line staff in the original memo was always going to draw ire, regardless of their intentions.

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