Update 30 October 2019:
Last week 23.56% of Qantas shareholders voted in favour of the resolution put forward by our friends at the Australian Centre for Corporate Responsibility calling on Qantas to conduct a human rights review of its deportation flights.
This is the largest ever vote against the wishes of an Australian company board on human rights issues. More importantly, it's a big step forward in the fight for Qantas to stop profiting from human rights abuses.
Those who voted for the motion held a staggering $2bn of Qantas' share capital.
When SumOfUs members first joined the campaign calling on Qantas shareholders to put human rights before profits in 2018, that motion secured 6.4% of the vote. This year more than three times as many shareholders disobeyed the wishes of the board and stood up for human rights.
This campaign will not be one that is won quickly but Qantas is now on notice to act.
Whisked away in the dead of night. Torn away from their homes and loved ones. And flown to countries where their lives may be in danger… on Australia’s beloved national airline.
In selling the use of its planes, pilots and crew to deport persecuted refugees and asylum seekers, Qantas is profiting off the government’s dirty work -- all the while claiming it “won’t stay silent” on social issues.
Since last year, SumOfUs members have been calling on Qantas to follow Virgin Atlantic’s lead and end its cruel deportation flights.
Now, in just a few days, the issue is again going to a shareholder vote, and you can influence the outcome by driving up the public pressure on shareholders and management.
Alan Joyce can’t have it both ways.
Qantas’ millionaire CEO just told reporters that “good companies” should intervene in social issues. But at the same time, his airline claimed it’s “not their role” to intervene in the government’s immigration decisions, no matter how cruel or legally dubious.
That means staying silent as innocent people like Priya, Nades and their young daughters born in Biloela, Queensland -- are held in detention on Christmas Island, with two-year-old Tharunicaa denied cake on her birthday. They’re currently one court decision away from being flown back to the country they fled.
In the UK, Virgin Atlantic already listened to the public’s concerns and announced it would stop collaborating with the Home Office on deportations.
US airlines American, United and Frontier all announced they would not fly children separated under the Trump administration’s immigration policy after coming under intense community pressure.
Last year SumOfUs members like you helped force Qantas' chairman and CEO to address your concerns head on. This year, if we create enough pressure we can create a critical mass of shareholders and move Qantas closer than ever to ending deportation flights.