Qantas Engineers Plan Friday Strike As Pay Dispute Escalates

By Bernama,

Melbourne : Qantas engineers have threatened to resume strike action on Friday unless the airline’s management makes a fresh offer in their pay dispute.

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Qantas had to cancel 34 flights today because of stoppages by the engineers, affecting Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth.

The engineers abandoned stop-work meetings planned for tomorrow and Thursday, following intervention by the Australian Industrial Relations Commission (AIRC), the Herald Sun website said.

Paul Cousins, federal president of the Australian Licenced Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA), said the union “took on board” suggestions from the AIRC commissioner about the planned stoppages and had decided to cancel them.

But Cousins said the union had handed Qantas a notice of stoppages for this Friday.

“Our objective is still to keep pressure on Qantas.

“The last thing Qantas engineers want to do is inconvenience the travelling public, but it is unacceptable for a company that is making record profits to expect these hard-working, highly skilled engineers to take a real pay cut,” he said.

Qantas chief executive, Geoff Dixon, said the airline was not prepared to increase its three percent pay offer and would bring in outside engineers if industrial action dragged on.

He said between 20 and 30 flights out of the 350 Qantas flights that took off every day could be cancelled if the work bans continued.

“This will be resolved one way or the other, but I think it’s very, very important that it’s resolved so Qantas has a secure future,” Dixon told ABC radio.