7 Nov 2011

Qantas and unions head back into talks

2:07 pm on 7 November 2011

Talks are due to begin in Melbourne to try to resolve the long-running pay dispute between Qantas and three unions representing its staff.

The airline and the aircraft engineers union will meet at Fair Work Australia for the first time since the impasse in which Qantas grounded its fleet.

The industrial umpire last Monday gave the parties three weeks to reach an agreement.

Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineer's Association secretary Steve Purvinas says the airline's attitude will determine if a deal can be reached in the required time, the ABC reports.

He says if the airline comes in a mood to negotiate, headway will be made in the next 21 days but if it keeps stonewalling and wants to let three judges rule on the dispute when the time is up, that is something that will have to be dealt with at the time.

Mr Purvinas says the situation is really a bit of an unknown at the moment.