Police probe Qantas threats, travellers delayed

Australian police Friday confirmed they were investigating alleged death threats against Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce, as the airline's passengers faced more disruption due to a strike row. Qantas revealed this week that Joyce had received a death threat, managers had been sent menacing letters and strike-breaking workers bullied as the carrier attempts to refocus its business towards Asia. The airline did not detail the threats against Irish-born Joyce but the letter reportedly read: "It's coming soon Paddy. You can't even see it." Joyce, who is facing opposition from pilots, engineers and ground staff to his reforms to the iconic Australian airline, also received another death threat after the first was made public, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. The paper was unable to quote the threatening email, but said it read along the lines of: "I'm going to get you." Qantas would not comment on the threats but New South Wales police said they had established a taskforce to investigate the situation. "It will examine all circumstances surrounding the allegations," a police spokesman said. Unions are locked in protracted contract talks over pay and conditions with Qantas, which has said it will slash 1,000 jobs as part of its new Asia focus. Thousands of Qantas passengers faced disruption Friday after the airline cancelled some flights and delayed others due to a planned stoppage by baggage handlers and ground staff, which did not go ahead. The Transport Workers Union (TWU) called off the strike late on Thursday but Qantas said this was too late to stop contingency plans from being implemented and 17 flights were cancelled and 29 delayed, affecting 5,700 travellers. Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association were to hold a one-hour strike at Melbourne Airport on Friday afternoon but this was only expected to cause minor delays. by Katherine Haddon (c) 2011 AFP
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Source: AFP
Date: Oct 7, 2011