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Qantas Grounds Fleet Worldwide

A labor dispute caused the Australian airline to ground its fleet worldwide indefinitely. Company officials have accused its unions of working against them.

“We are locking out until the unions withdraw their extreme ‘claim and reach’ agreement with us,” Australian Transport Minister Anthony Albanese said.

Qantas, with about 35,000 employees, operates about 108 aircraft in more than 20 countries. The Qantas ground will not affect partner airlines.

Earlier this month, Qantas grounded five planes and reduced some in- country flights, due to what the company said was a concerted work slow-down by mechanics.

Flight in progress completed their routes Friday, and Qantas announced the fleet grounding early today.

With today’s development, Albanese said he was worried about the future of the airline.

Copyright © 2011 CNS

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