Disputes Between Qantas and the Unions - Talking Business 2011 Ep 43c

A review of the week in business, with expert analysis and commentary.

Leon and Garry discuss how the disputes between Qantas and two of the unions representing its workforce move into arbitration, a promotion campaign by Qantas gets a backlash on Twitter and Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has declined to appear before a second hearing before the Senate. Meanwhile, Virgin Australia expects to end its first half in the black and is giving its "game-change" restructuring strategy a shot in the arm with a revenue-boosting new reservations system. The mining tax passes through parliament and as part of the deal, the government tightens up rules on coal seam gas and the government delays plans to scrap a tax on banks to help fund the promises to the Independents. But in bad news for miners, China’s factory sector shrank the most in 32 months in November on signs of domestic economic weakness, reviving worries that China may be slipping toward a hard landing and fuelling fears of a global recession. A senior RBA official has signalled that the central bank is comfortable with the current level of interest rates but the Aussie dollar falls as the market anticipates rate cuts. Spotless defends its rejection of an almost $700 million takeover bid by a private equity group. Telstra’s Sensis is in serious trouble. Domestic passenger traffic at Sydney and Melbourne airports falls by around 6 per cent in October. Murchison Metals is discussing selling its stake in the Jack Hills iron ore mine and troubled Oakajee Port and Rail project in WA's midwest. NAB opens its first branch in China. OneSteel prepares to cut more jobs, BlueScope Steel tries to raise capital but steel plate supplier Bisalloy Steel Group Ltd expects earnings in the current financial year to rise by up to 50 per cent. IOOF expects first-half profit to drop this financial year. World-first laws requiring cigarettes to be sold in plain packets are passed by parliament. MG Global’s Australian business will be liquidated. Goodman Fielder is planning not to deliver fresh daily bread to supermarkets. JB Hi-Fi is protecting its image as a discounter by sourcing cameras sold on its web site directly from overseas. The retail sector launches its own campaign selling the industry as Woolworths says sales will be subdued in 2012 and David Jones confirms its sales have fallen 11.2 per cent. Kathmandu is set to target North America in the first step of an online global retailing plan, Thorn Group expects to increase full year profit by more than 20 per cent to $30 million and shoe seller RCG Corporation expects to deliver earnings per share growth for the year despite what it describes as the worst trading conditions in 30 years. Harvey Norman finally launches an online store. Investors have pulled Centro Properties back from the brink of collapse, backing a deal to hand key lenders control of the shopping centre brand in return for tearing up billions of dollars in debt. Former Gunns chairman John Gay will face court in Launceston next month on charges of insider trading. Australian Federal Police are investigating whether News Ltd offered a former Nationals senator favourable coverage if he voted a certain way on proposed media laws. Queensland’s dependence on mining as a funding source has been underscored by predictions that the industry will be returning $8 billion a year in royalties by the year 2020. Visy plans to push into Asia. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission had doubts about the Australian Securities Exchange's ability to manage its technology. Nine Entertainment's ACP Magazines has announced two big launches for the new year -- Australian editions of fashion glossy Elle and health monthly Women's Fitness -- despite the debt woes of its parent company. James Murdoch has quit the board of the companies that publish The Times, Sunday Times, and The Sun. News Magazines has relaunched as NewsLifeMedia in a move which positions the publisher as the lifestyle publishing arm of News Limited.

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Garry Barker and Leon Gettler
business, economics, RMIT