Qantas engineers vow to only use their left hands

Qantas engineers vow to only use their left hands

The latest strike pledge will leave the airline short-handed, while pilots have also voted to strike
Qantas strike
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce may have to take his hands out of his pockets -- his engineers might need a hand.

It’s the strike that doesn’t go away. It’s also the strike that doesn’t strike: previous pledges by engineers and pilots have been called off at the last minute.

But Qantas engineers are now getting creative in their industrial action.

Strikes will roll out this Friday and two engineers –- one in Perth and the other in Melbourne –- have vowed to use only their left hand. And yes, they’re both right-handed.

The two unionists, Wesley Bell and Vinko Vulin, will go cacky-handed in their use of spanners, screwdrivers and other maintenance tools.

Other engineers have vowed not to use tools at all.

Some Qantas staff might believe they can do their jobs with their eyes shut, too.

“I’m very handy with my left hand,” Steve Purvinas, president of the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers’ Association, told “I imagine they’d probably be good with their left hands.”

As good as they are with their right hand? Or is it a go-slow?

Purvinas says the “unusual” forms of industrial action were designed not to disrupt passengers affected by the Tiger Airways grounding.

More on CNNGo: Tiger Airways grounded over safety concerns

Other mild action includes one-minute strikes on the hour; let’s call it a short “smoko”.

So, where will all this end? “If all 1,600 aircraft maintenance engineers only used their left hand to maintain our aircraft this would be a safety risk,”  a Qantas spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Qantas says it doesn't want any "screws loose.”

First the left hands stop working, then the pilots

It’s the opposite of all hands on deck. In fact, 94 percent of pilots also raised their hands on Monday in support of their first protected industrial action in 45 years.

The Australian and International Pilots Association will decide this weekend what action they will take.

Both engineers and pilots want assurances that their jobs are not outsourced to cheaper, foreign labor markets, while engineers are also seeking a moderate pay increase.

Tiger is grounded. The Flying Kangaroo is experiencing problems. One wonders who will be left in Australian skies.