Aussie Court Ends Qantas Strike, Grounding

Airline ordered back to the skies after 14-hour hearing
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 30, 2011 10:49 AM CDT
Aussie Court Ends Qantas Strike, Grounding
Qantas Airways customer service workers help passengers at Los Angeles International Airport as the airline grounded its global fleet locking out striking workers after weeks of flight disruptions Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011 in Los Angeles.    (Jason Redmond)

(Newser) – An Australian court has ended the Qantas Airways standoff that abruptly grounded the entire fleet yesterday, as tens of thousands of stranded passengers scrambled to find rides. After 14 hours of testimony, which included government arguments that forcing the airline back into operation was in Australia's best economic interests, the court ordered striking workers back to work and the airline back to the skies.

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"It's not our place to start allocating responsibility, but what I also know is there is a better way to resolve these matters ... than locking your customers out," Australian Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten said. "We want more common sense than that." Qantas CEO Alan Joyce had said earlier that the airline could be flying again within hours if such a ruling came down, reports the AP. Workers had been striking over a restructuring plan that could take some of Qantas' 35,000 jobs abroad. (Read more Qantas stories.)

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