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Description: Weeks of disruptions by union employees resulted in a decision by Qantas Airlines to ground all flights and lock out workers. The Australian government held an emergency hearing to consider whether to order the airline to resume flights.

Source: Associated Press, “Qantas Airlines Grounds Global Fleet in Employee Lockout, Says Strikes Are ‘Crisis’ for Airline,” Washington Post

Date: October 29, 2011

Link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/qantas-airways-grounds-its-entire-fleet-due-to-industrial-action-by-staff/2011/10/29/gIQALJXNRM_story.html?sub=AR

Questions for discussion:

  1. What are some of the general environment conditions that are contributing to actions by both labor and management in this situation?
  2. Consider the role of competitive advantage for an airline. What are some ways Qantas might maintain a competitive advantage? How might union activities negatively affect competitive advantage?
  3. What are the keys to organizational effectiveness for Qantas? What impact would strikes, work slowdown, and unwillingness to work overtime have on effectiveness?
  4. Discuss the pros and cons of using the various weapons available to each side.

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