Ansett employees and their families will minimise disruption at airports during lunchtime community rallies tomorrow despite Government claims that airports would be stopped for three hours by “industrial action”.

ACTU President Sharan Burrow said today that Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister John Anderson should be making a positive contribution to the crisis in the airline industry, rather than accusing unions of being “selfish”.

“Mr Anderson is throwing bombs from the sidelines rather than working to find solutions,” said Ms Burrow. “When he accuses unions of being selfish, Mr Anderson is accusing all 17,000 Ansett employees of being selfish.

“These community rallies are a natural response to a growing crisis. People who are worried about their jobs and financial futures gain comfort from being with their workmates, and they need to hear the latest news on developments from the administrators.”

Ms Burrow said the lunchtime meetings were scheduled to minimise the impact on air travellers, particularly in states where school holiday were starting.

“This is a sensible time of day for Ansett workers to meet because lunchtime is a low time for flights. There is widespread concern about the fate of Australia’s airline industry, and many people have expressed their desire to support the Ansett workers by standing at their sides tomorrow.

“I expect that employees of other airlines, such as Qantas and Virgin Blue, will come along if they are on their lunch breaks. Many airline workers are confused and worried about misinformation that is circulated daily today’s claims of industrial action are a good example of scaremongering,” said Ms Burrow.


SYDNEY: – Peter Lewis 0413 873 285

MELBOURNE: – Jeremy Vermeesch 0408 513 849

BRISANE: – Liz Phillips 0407 624 475

PERTH: – Stephanie Mayman 0418 958 643

ADELAIDE: – Chris White 0418 830 297

ACTU Ansett hotline: 1300 365 205