Qantas says thousands hit by strike over pay and jobs

AUSTRALIA’S Qantas Airways has cancelled 28 flights scheduled for today due to a planned four-hour strike by ground staff, which the airline said will affect more than 6,100 passengers.

Qantas said in a statement yesterday it expected a further 27 flights to be delayed by up to 35 minutes and warned passengers of further disruptions over the next two days.

The Transport Workers Union, which represents baggage handlers and catering staff, called the strike action due to a dispute over pay and in opposition to planned domestic job cuts as the airline expands in Asia.

The strike would occur at all major Australian airports, the union said.

Aircraft engineers were also planning separate strike action today that would affect more than 800 passengers, according to local media.

Qantas shares were trading 2.2 per cent lower at A$1.56 yesterday morning, underperforming the wider market which fell 1.8 per cent.