Qantas strike this week

Qantas Airways' maintenance crews in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane plan a strike on Wednesday that could ground part of the carrier's fleet to press demands for more pay and better work conditions.

“The strike sends a very strong message to Qantas that workers really want Qantas to take them seriously,” said Tim Ayres, industrial officer for the Australian Manufacturers Workers Union.

Up to 2,500 Qantas maintenance staff will stop work for 24 hours on Wednesday. The strike follows a breakdown of an accord between Qantas and unions on wages and conditions.

“Qantas workers are very frustrated with the company stalling in the enterprise bargaining process,” Mr Ayres said. “Qantas have offered nothing in respect of wages.”

Rising costs and competition have dented Qantas' profit in the year through June and the airline said last month that earnings may not recover this year. 7/9/01