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Australian court orders an end to the Qantas dispute

Qantas planes should be back in the skies by tomorrow after a Labour tribunal ruled that the decision to ground the entire fleet must be reversed.

Image: AP Photo/Rick Rycroft

AN AUSTRALIAN LABOUR  court has ordered the end to a dispute at the airline Qantas which has seen its entire fleet of planes grounded since yesterday.

The Australian Government had appointed Fair Work Australia, a workplace relations tribunal, to try to sort out the crisis which affected almost 70,000 passengers and 500 flights since the industrial dispute escalated yesterday.

Reuters reports that Unions and the airline have now been ordered to return to the negotiating table, and they have 21 days to reach an agreement.

According to the Brisbane Times it is likely to take several hours for planes to start flying again. The termination of the industrial action will take affect at 9am local time.

Qantas tweeted several hours ago that flights would remain grounded until at least midday on Monday.

The decision by Qantas to ground its fleet was a sudden one, and the government had criticised the airline for not giving adequate notice. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that unions believe the lock out was planned for some time.

The dispute centres on pay and conditions, and has seen a number of strikes take place.

Australian government intervenes in Qantas flight chaos

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Emer McLysaght

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