Qantas Welcomes Federal Court Adjournment

Sydney, 04 February 2002

Qantas has welcomed today's decision by the Federal Court to defer until Thursday the hearing of a claim by the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and the Australian Workers Union for an injunction against the airline.

Executive General Manager Aircraft Operations David Forsyth said Qantas had moved to stand aside maintenance employees after enduring more than five months' of bans by the two unions.

"We believe our action not to pay employees who are engaging in industrial action is strictly in accordance with our obligations under the Workplace Relations Act," he said.

"Throughout the dispute our overriding priority has been to negotiate a new Enterprise Bargaining Agreement with our maintenance employees, 60 per cent of whom have already settled.

"It is only the AMWU and the AWU who continue to take industrial action."

Mr Forsyth said senior Qantas managers had been conducting a series of meetings with shopfloor maintenance staff to identify a solution to the current dispute.

"However any further proposal must be consistent with the wages pause agreed with 10 other Qantas unions," he said.

"Qantas will appear before the Australian Industrial Relations Commission again on Wednesday where we will continue to seek a resolution."

Mr Forsyth said Qantas wanted to assure the travelling public that there was no impact on the airline's day-to-day schedules and that Qantas would continue to meet its maintenance requirements.

Issued by Qantas Corporate Communication (2611)
Media Contact: Des Sullivan Telephone (02) 9691 3742