Regulator orders termination of Qantas dispute
Australia's workplace regulator today ordered a termination to the industrial dispute that has seen Qantas Airways ground its entire fleet.india Updated: Oct 30, 2011 21:18 IST
Australia's workplace regulator early Monday ordered a termination to the industrial dispute that has seen Qantas Airways ground its entire fleet.
"We have decided to terminate protected industrial action in relation to each of the proposed enterprise agreements immediately," Fair Work Australia said after a marathon meeting.
The decision clears the way for planes to start flying again.
The industrial umpire could have opted to suspend strike action for as long as 120 days so talks could take place, a move favoured by unions, but instead came down in Qantas' favour.
"We have decided that in the particular circumstances of this case, which on the evidence include the particular vulnerability of the tourism industry to uncertainty, suspension will not provide sufficient protection against the risk of significant damage," it said.
"We should do what we can to avoid significant damage to the tourism industry."
It follows the national carrier announcing a shock decision to lock out union staff and cancel all flights indefinitely on Saturday, a move that left the country reeling and passengers scrambling for alternatives.
Baggage handlers, pilots and engineers unions have been protesting against pay and restructuring plans that would see 1,000 jobs axed and the establishment of two new Qantas group airlines focused on Asia.