Qantas resumes flights grounded by labor dispute

By REUTERS
October 31, 2011 08:27

MELBOURNE/SYDNEY - Australia's Qantas Airways returned to the air on Monday after grounding its entire global fleet over the weekend in a bold tactic to force the government to intervene in the nation's worst labor dispute in a decade.

Qantas took the drastic step to ground all flights on Saturday, disrupting 70,000 passengers and spurring the government and its labor-market regulator to seek a quick end to hostilities between the airline and unions.

At the government's instigation, Australia's labor tribunal ordered Qantas to resume flights and banned trade unions, which have waged a damaging campaign of industrial action, from staging more strikes while negotiations continued.

"That was the only way we could bring that to a head," a bleary-eyed Qantas CEO Alan Joyce told reporters after 36 hours of round-the-clock brinkmanship.


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