Qantas, Westpac not afraid of strike

Qantas, Westpac not afraid of strike

Summary: Qantas and Westpac Banking Corporation today said they were not concerned about the potential impact of a strike by IBM workers which could take place later this week.

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Qantas and Westpac Banking Corporation today said they were not concerned about the potential impact of a strike by IBM workers which could take place later this week.

Qantas said it had taken steps to minimise the impact of the industrial action, while IBM has assured Westpac its operations will not be severely impacted.

Last week, 45 IBM workers from the Flightdeck in its Baulkham Hills facility voted to strike. If the company does not come to the negotiating table, it will face industrial action later this week.

According to Australian Services Union branch secretary Sally McManus, the Flightdeck workers were important to the operations of customers such as Westpac, the Australian Customs Service, Medicare and Qantas.

The Flightdeck workers had a hand in the ticketing, rostering and crewing systems of the airline, McManus said. "If their IT infrastructure fails, planes won't fly," she warned.

However, a Qantas spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au the big kangaroo would remain in the air.

"Qantas is aware of the issue and has measures in place to ensure that there will be minimal impact to our operations. Our online booking system will not be affected," they said.

For Westpac, McManus had warned that billions of dollars of transactions could be in jeopardy if the strike went ahead.

Although, a Westpac spokesperson said IBM had told the bank that staff leaving work wouldn't have such severe repercussions. "We're not anticipating any impact on our operations, following advice from IBM," a Westpac spokesperson said.

An IBM spokesperson told ZDNet.com.au that the show would go on. "We will continue to support our customers' requirements," they said.

Although the ASU said Big Blue would not come to the negotiating table, IBM has been engaging its staff on the problem, the company's spokesperson said. "We're continuing to talk through the issue with our employees at the site."

Topics: IBM, Banking, Travel Tech, IT Employment

Suzanne Tindal

About Suzanne Tindal

Suzanne Tindal cut her teeth at ZDNet.com.au as the site's telecommunications reporter, a role that saw her break some of the biggest stories associated with the National Broadband Network process. She then turned her attention to all matters in government and corporate ICT circles. Now she's taking on the whole gamut as news editor for the site.

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