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Qantas domestic passengers face strike

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20 September 2011 by Luke McCormick

More than 4000 Qantas baggage handlers and ground staff are expected to strike for up to four hours today in a dispute over pay and working conditions.

Qantas are advising that up to 6000 passengers could be affected by the strike action, but it is only expected to affect domestic Qantas routes.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) representing Qantas staff has refused to call of the industrial action, which is set to disrupt operations at major airports across Australia.

It comes after eleventh-hour talks between the union and Qantas failed to reach a resolution yesterday.

"We're expecting that members throughout the country will be taking industrial action tomorrow, (for) up to four hours," Transport Workers Union (TWU) national secretary Tony Sheldon told reporters in Sydney.

"This is a position that they've been forced into by Qantas' lack of good faith and negotiations."

So far today Qantas has cancelled 38 flights, with another 37 delayed. A spokesman for the airline said larger planes were being brought in the plug the gaps, with management stepping to fill some roles. International schedules will not be affected.

"All passengers who have had flights cancelled, they will all get on an aircraft," he told Fairfax Radio Network.

"We're asking passengers to be patient where they can."

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