Qantas ordered to end labor dispute Skip to main content

Qantas ordered to end labor dispute



Sydney (CNN) -- Australia's Qantas Airways said it plans to resume flights Monday afternoon after a government labor board ordered it to end a dispute with its unions that grounded the airline over the weekend.

Qantas jets will resume service over the next 24 hours in a "safe and phased approach," company CEO Alan Joyce told reporters Monday morning.

Labor relations tribunal Fair Work Australia ordered an end to the labor dispute "to avoid significant damage to the tourism industry" after Qantas grounded its jets Saturday afternoon.The airline grounded 447 flights since Saturday and announced it would be locking out its unionized pilots, engineers, ramp, baggage and catering crews effective Monday evening amid a dispute with the unions that has dragged on for 14 months, the board said.

Qantas argued that the unions' demands would leave the airline "seriously impaired or destroyed." The labor board gave the two sides three weeks to reach an agreement, with a possible three-week extension if talks were making progress.

The decision "provides certainty for Qantas passengers," Joyce said in a statement following the decision. He apologized to passengers and said flights would resume as early as Monday afternoon.

The Australian and International Pilots Association said it hoped for a "positive outcome" from the talks, calling the decision to ground the airline a "gross overreaction" to its demands. "It is a sign that the current management has lost touch with the traveling public, its workers and the basic Australian ethos of free speech," the union said in a statement.

At Sydney airport, columns of "canceled" illuminated the departure board. Throngs of weary passengers crowded the help desk to rebook with other airlines, as suitcases lay scattered all over the floor.

"It makes me wonder whether I would book with Qantas again," said Isabelle Storer, who was stuck at the airport with her husband after a visit to the United States.

Their connection to Adelaide was canceled, leaving her frustrated because her husband needed medical treatment, she said.

Passenger Ron Fuller waited at the airport, albeit more optimistic.

"For a month or two, everyone will be anti-Qantas, there's no doubt about that," Fuller said. "But emotion probably gets in the way sometimes."

The labor dispute involves three unions representing air and ground staff of Australia's largest domestic and international airline.

Union officials have accused the airline of planning to outsource ground jobs at a cost of thousands of Australian jobs and of putting profits first. Pay and working conditions have also been at the center of the disputes.

The industrial action is aimed at ensuring Qantas will not have enough funds to set up overseas operations that will jeopardize job security, union officials said.

The move comes at an embarrassing moment for Australia, which is hosting dozens of heads of government and their staffs for the Commonwealth meeting in Perth.

Qantas CEO Joyce has come under fire for grounding the fleet, which was preceded by weeks of tension between the airline and its workers.

It's "a maniacal overreaction," said Richard Woodward, vice president of the Australian and International Pilots' Union.

The decision to ground the Qantas fleet, stranding thousands of passengers around the world, was unnecessary and grossly irresponsible, he said in a statement.

In a statement, the Transport Workers Union of Australia described the cancellations as "disgraceful" and aimed at destroying the airline.

Qantas, which has its headquarters in Sydney, is the second oldest airline in the world, and marked its 90th anniversary last year.

It employs about 32,500 people and flies to more than 180 destinations worldwide, according to the company website.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Chronology of the Press in Burma

1836 – 1846 * During this period the first English-language newspaper was launched under British-ruled Tenasserim, southern  Burma . The first ethnic Karen-language and Burmese-language newspapers also appear in this period.     March 3, 1836 —The first English-language newspaper,  The Maulmain Chronicle , appears in the city of Moulmein in British-ruled Tenasserim. The paper, first published by a British official named E.A. Blundell, continued up until the 1950s. September 1842 —Tavoy’s  Hsa-tu-gaw  (the  Morning Star ), a monthly publication in the Karen-language of  Sgaw ,  is established by the Baptist mission. It is the first ethnic language newspaper. Circulation reached about three hundred until its publication ceased in 1849. January 1843 —The Baptist mission publishes a monthly newspaper, the Christian  Dhamma  Thadinsa  (the  Religious Herald ), in Moulmein. Supposedly the first Burmese-language newspaper, it continued up until the first year of the second Angl

Thai penis whitening trend raises eyebrows

Image copyright LELUXHOSPITAL Image caption Authorities warn the procedure could be quite painful A supposed trend of penis whitening has captivated Thailand in recent days and left it asking if the country's beauty industry is taking things too far. Skin whitening is nothing new in many Asian countries, where darker skin is often associated with outdoor labour, therefore, being poorer. But even so, when a clip of a clinic's latest intriguing procedure was posted online, it quickly went viral. Thailand's health ministry has since issued a warning over the procedure. The BBC Thai service spoke to one patient who had undergone the treatment, who told them: "I wanted to feel more confident in my swimming briefs". The 30-year-old said his first session of several was two months ago, and he had since seen a definite change in the shade. 'What for?' The original Facebook post from the clinic offering the treatment, which uses lasers to break do

Myanmar Villagers Tell of 150 Homes Burned in Deadly Army Air Attacks

Artillery fire and aerial bombardments by Myanmar forces killed three civilians and burned scores of houses in their communities in mid-March amid fighting between Myanmar forces and the rebel Arakan Army in war-ravaged Rakhine state, villagers recounted Monday at a press conference. Villagers from Kyauktaw township in western Myanmar's Rakhine state discuss the government military's attacks on their communities at press conference in Sittwe, March 30, 2020. They made the comments after traveling from in Kyauktaw township to the state capital Sittwe to give testimony on a series of attacks on civilian dwellings amid a government-imposed internet shutdown in nine townships in Rakhine and neighboring Chin state, cutting off vital information about the fighting. They villagers accused the Myanmar Army of conducting an aerial bombing on civilian communities that destroyed about 150 homes and a monastery in Pyaing Taing village, while government soldiers on the g