Qantas talks with unions collapse

NEGOTIATIONS between Qantas and two unions representing ground crew and long-haul pilots have collapsed, leaving the sides to face binding arbitration before the industrial relations umpire.

The Transport Workers Union, whose members include baggage handlers, ended talks with Qantas on Monday afternoon, shortly after negotiations with the long-haul pilots' union collapsed.

The TWU's general counsel, Michael Burns, said the talks collapsed because the two sides could not reach agreement on job-security demands such as the number of contractors Qantas was wanting to use.

The matters in dispute will now go to binding arbitration, although the pilots' union and the TWU will discuss with Qantas negotiators over the next few days those areas on which agreement is more likely.

Richard Woodward, the vice-president of the Australian and International Pilots Association, said negotiations between the airline and the pilots' union had ended on Monday afternoon after the two sides failed to agree over the terms for efficiency gains of up to 20 per cent sought by the company, such as pilot rostering.