Sunday, October 30, 2011

Qantas Dispute "Absolute Disaster" for Australian Tourism

Nine News: The decision by Qantas to suspend its domestic and international fleets will hit Australian tourism hard at a time when it was already doing it tough, a spokesman for the hotel industry said.

Tourism Accommodation Australia managing director Rodger (Rodger) Powell said the latest development in the Qantas dispute was an "absolute disaster" for the industry.

"There's undoubtedly immediate concern in terms of the impact of travelling customers, but I think the bigger concern is the longer term impact on the Australian tourism brand, both overseas and at home," he said.

"The tourism industry has just had one setback after another over the past 12 months, between fires, floods, cyclones and the high Australian dollar."

He welcomed the federal government's decision to take the matter to Fair Work Australia on Saturday night.

"We called on the prime minister a week ago to intervene, we're glad to see they have finally acted, it's just a shame its got this far," he said.

Qantas on Saturday grounded its entire domestic and international fleets indefinitely and announced a lockout of engineers, pilots and other employees beginning on Monday night.

The move comes as a result of a long-running industrial impasse between Qantas and three unions: the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA), the Transport Workers Union (TWU) and the Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association (ALAEA).

The federal government made an application at Fair Work Australia which will be heard at 10pm(AEDT) on Saturday in Melbourne.

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