Strike-hit Qantas flights have resumed, ending travel misery for passengers.
The airline grounded its global fleet this weekend in Australia’s worst labour dispute in a decade.
But, at the government’s instigation, an independent tribunal ruled that flights should resume and strike action end during negotiations.
“In making this application, the government wanted to see industrial action stopped, that is by going to Fair Work Australia we have achieved what we set out to do,” said Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard. “Planes will be back in the skies. Qantas workers will be back at work.”
With their industrial action blocked, union representatives condemned Qantas boss Alan Joyce for ordering a lockout of workers.
“Qantas management alone, and Alan Joyce, has to take personal responsibility for this, to propose to lock out its workers, – a proposal, an action, which was without precedent in Australian industrial history,” said Jeff Lawrence, Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
Staff and Qantas now have three weeks to settle their row over pay and conditions. The tens of thousands of stranded passengers may have to wait until Wednesday for flights to return to a full service.