Qantas Grounds All Flights

Posted October 29th, 2011 at 5:55 am (UTC-5)
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Australia's Qantas Airways grounded all its aircraft Saturday because of a labor dispute.

The airline, which has been hit by a series of strikes, said Saturday that all employees involved in the action would be locked out beginning Monday evening.

The unions involved in the strikes represent pilots, licensed engineers, baggage and ground workers, and catering staff.

Unions have been protesting pay and restructuring plans.

Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce said the unions are “trashing our strategy and our brand.”

Qantas says the strikes have cost the company $16 million a week. It said the total financial impact so far has been almost $70 million.

Approximately 70,000 passengers have been affected and more that 600 flights have been cancelled.