Dubliner at eye of the storm
Published 31/10/2011 | 05:00
THE man at the centre of the bitter Qantas dispute is its chief executive, Dubliner Alan Joyce (45).
He moved to Australia in 1996 to work for the now-defunct Ansett airline. He later joined Qantas and is now its AUS$5m (€3.8m)-per-year boss. With a reputation for taking on unions, Mr Joyce has become the symbol of the airline's battle against its disgruntled workforce.
He said he grounded the fleet because the unions were "trashing our strategy and our brand". If he fails in his efforts to cut costs, he may also become the symbol of its demise.
In recent months, he has received hate mail. Even politicians have suggested he doesn't "get" the Australian psyche. "It's insulting and annoying," he said. "I have said to them, 'I am Australian now. . . I'm very proud of this country and not going anywhere'."