Australia’s prime minister has warned that the decision by Qantas to stop flying could have serious economic consequences.
Julia Gillard was speaking on the sidelines of the Commonwealth leaders summit in Perth.
“The rapid escalation of this dispute today, what we are saying is a circumstance with this industrial dispute that could have implications for our national economy,” the Welsh-born premier told reporters.
Some of the leaders attending the Commonwealth meeting were booked to fly home on Qantas.
They are among the 70,000 passengers who have had their travel plans scuppered until further notice after the cancellation of more than 600 flights worldwide.
So far the government has declined to say whether it will intervene in the dispute if no compromise is found between the unions and management.