Good morning, and welcome to Friday!
Here’s what you need to know:
- Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce meets with union leaders today to start going through the details of the 5000 jobs the airline plans to shed under the restructure unveiled yesterday. Joyce has warned today against any industrial action, saying it could make the situation worse and that reasonable people would understand the need for the cutbacks and wage freeze across the company. Politically, it’s moving quickly, with federal Cabinet set to discuss assistance measures on Monday, and Tony Abbott signalling a surprise potential shift in the government’s position, with a hint that a debt guarantee might be something that would extend to all airlines. Joyce’s own position is now the talk of the town but he has reiterated his determination to see the plan through. “I believe I am the man, the board believes I am the man, the shareholders believe I am the man,” he said on ABC radio this morning.
- While cabinet is at it on Monday they might have a think about Telstra too. Chief executive David Thodey says it’s time to lift foreign ownership restrictions on the telco (currently capped at 35%). “The constraints are real because, if we or Qantas want to do something internationally, we are limited with what equity we can play with,” he said.
- ALP elder Martin Ferguson, who commands huge respect both in the Labor movement and in business circles following his time as resources minister, is in favour of the Coalition’s proposed changes to the Fair Work Act and said unions should also support the reintroduction of the Australian Building and Construction Commission. “It is time that some in today’s union leadership recognised that their members’ long-term interests are aligned with their long-term job security,” the former ACTU leader will say in a speech to be delivered in Perth today. All of this is awkward for Labor leader Bill Shorten, who has been doggedly opposed to the ABCC and any consideration of workplace reforms.
- The AFR reports Westpac is going to invest $50 million in early stage startups under a model borrowed from Silicon Valley.
- Australia hears Schapelle Corby speak for the first time since her release from prison, in a promotional video released by Channel 7. The TV network whisked Schapelle away from the prison the day she was released, and video shows her jumping into the car seat, face covered, after rushing through the media throng, and then she says: “I feel like a crab.” She sounds pretty chipper. The video – yes, you do get a look at her face – is a teaser for current affairs show Sunday night.
- A new survey from Regus global on workplace stress says a third of Australian workers are worried about losing their job and half of Australian workers are feeling less confident about the sector they work in.
- Dating app Tinder is matching an astonishing 10 million people a day worldwide. That’s ~300 million people a month getting matched for potential dates every month. Its popularity has surged in recent weeks in part thanks to some great publicity around the Winter Olympics, when women’s gold medalist snowboarder Jamie Anderson told Us Weekly that the Tinder among the athletes in Sochi was “next level”.
- Remember Fannie Mae? Its stock is up 1500% in the last year and 40% in the last five days. Trouble is it’s government-controlled of course but guys who have been in it for the trade, like Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square, have been making a killing.
- Wine experts are not to hot on this year’s Penfold’s Grange release, but they’re going nuts for the St Henri Shiraz which is going for $95 a bottle. Form an orderly queue.
- An ultracrepidarian is an old English word for someone who gives opinions on something they know nothing about. The opportunities for daily use of this in modern life are vast. Let’s bring it back. You’ll find more on it and a stack of other words that we should be using here.
Have a cracking weekend. I’m on Twitter: @colgo
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