29 Oct 2011

Strike impact now $A68 million for Qantas

6:10 am on 29 October 2011

Qantas says ongoing strikes by members of three unions are costing the airline $A15 million per week.

Union members have been striking against plans to restructure the airline, a move than is expected to result in almost 1000 job cuts.

Industrial action by the members has resulted in the cancellation of 129 flights and delayed another 387.

Chief executive Alan Joyce warned the costs may escalate further.

"This drawn out and coordinated industrial campaign by these three unions is now having a major impact on Qantas," Mr Joyce said.

"$A68 million is a significant impact on the company and the costs will continue to rise," he added.

The BBC reports tensions between the unions and Qantas management started in August after the airline announced a restructuring and outsourcing plan.

The unions say it will result in job cuts at the airline's Australian operations.

The airline has said that it has no other choice because its international operation was losing $A200 million per year, mostly due to higher fuel prices, wages and a stronger Australian dollar.

The three unions have also asked for a 5% pay increase for every year of a three-year agreement.

However, Mr Joyce said these demands would result in additional losses.