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Qantas Strikes

Qantas Strikes
Qantas Flight
(5) marks: 1

QANTAS baggage handlers and ground crew have begun a new round of industrial action, which will cause delays and cancellations for passengers across Australia.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has warned union members are prepared to wage a year-long campaign of strikes against Qantas if neccessary.

National secretary of the TWU Tony Sheldon has said industrial action would persist until the airline backed down on its strategy to slash labour costs and move jobs offshore.

This mornings strike  will last for two hours with a second strike at 4pm expected to cause further headaches for business people and holiday-makers.

The TWU action will still affect more than 6800 passengers across the country, with 14 flights cancelled and another 38 delayed by up to an hour.

Passengers travelling on international flights from Melbourne airport were being warned to arrive early today as Customs officers also go on strike for eight hours.

In a separate industrail action, customs officers will walk off the job from 7am until 11am, followed by another four-hour stoppage from 9pm tonight.

The move will add significant delays to the processing of passengers travelling on international flights both in and out of the airport.

Melbourne airport spokesman Matt Francis said last night that passengers should expect delays getting through Customs throughout today.

"This will affect arriving and departing passengers on what is one of the busiest days of the week for international travel." he said.

"We are strongly encouraging international travellers tomorrow to follow the advice from Customs, which is to arrive at the airport early, and go straight to Customs."

Customs workers at Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, the Gold Coast and Cairns will hold similar stoppages throughout the day.

The industrial action comes after talks on a new pay deal for Customs officers broke down yesterday and follows a three-hour strike last month.

Qantas also faces industrial action from aircraft engineers, who will stop work for four hours in Sydney tomorrow, and from the pilots union.

Michael Palmer

Photo: Supplied

Date: 12/10/2011

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