Martin Ferguson has weighed into the Qantas industrial dispute with some strong comments today threatening to intervene in the dispute to protect tourism.
Qantas has today announced it will ground 5 aircraft and cut uto 100 flights a week. The announced cancelled and rescheduled flights today do not seem to directly affect flights to Cairns, although will of course affect connections.Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson, following his address to an industry conference in Canberra, said the sector's patience was running out with the unions."The sooner the parties get in a room and sort it out the better," he told reporters.The Australian tourism industry depended on a vital and strong aviation sector, he said.He described as "un-Australian" comments by Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers association secretary Steve Purvinas urging people to boycott Qantas.They also were a sad reflection of his leadership."You can have a dispute with employers but there is a responsibility on trade union leaders to never set out to damage Australian industry," Mr Ferguson said