Thousands of Qantas passengers had their travel plans disrupted today, when workers walked off the job at airports across the county.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce warns, the on-going industrial action is now putting jobs at risk.

Louise Cheer reports.


More than 10,000 passengers were delayed today because of more industrial action by Qantas workers.

Baggage handlers, catering workers and ground staff in Sydney and Melbourne airports walked off the job, while at the same time airline bosses faced shareholders at the annual general meeting.

Unions have been locking horns with Qantas since August over pay, conditions and the out-sourcing of maintenance jobs overseas.

Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce says Qantas needs to move with the changing business climate.

Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO: “And make the external and internal changes that will enable us to confede effectively. We will protect and grow Australian jobs over the long term.”

Mr Joyce also said he would not give into union demands.

But the unions are standing their ground.

Steven Purvinas, Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association: “This dispute could last the best of twelve months. We are playing our cards at the right time.”

Mr Joyce says the strikes are now affecting Australia’s economy and threatening jobs

Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO: “The impact on tourism, on business traffic around the country. The impact it has on small businesses, with people not being able to travel with certainty.”

Qantas says the strike has cost them more than $68-million so far, and has affected more than seventy thousand passengers. Mr Joyce has apologised to those who were affected by the industrial dispute.

Louise Cheer, QUT News.