After a weekend lockout that stranded passengers and cargo, Qantas has been ordered back to work by Fair Work Australia, the national industrial relations tribunal. Full service is expected to resume by Tuesday, November 1st 2011.
The stoppage was the result of a management lockout, and accordingly shippers and forwarders of Air Cargo delayed by the Qantas action may wish to consider Art 19 of the Montreal Convention (1999):
Article 19 — Delay
The carrier is liable for damage occasioned by delay in the carriage by air of passengers, baggage or cargo. Nevertheless, the carrier shall not be liable for damage occasioned by delay if it proves that it and its servants and agents took all measures that could reasonably be required to avoid the damage or that it was impossible for it or them to take such measures.
447 flights were grounded as a result of the stoppage and nearly 70,000 passengers are stranded, with 22,000 stuck overseas according to Cairns.com. Economic damage was estimated by Tourism Australia at $80 million, was certainly an element in the decision: “We should do what we can to avoid significant damage to the tourism industry,” said Justice Geoffrey Giudice.