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P. M. BRIEFING : Australian Airlines Sue Pilots

December 15, 1989| From Times Wire Services

SYDNEY, Australia — Domestic airline pilots in Australia, who went on strike for higher pay in August, were hit with a multimillion-dollar damage suit today.

Ignoring a plea from Prime Minister Bob Hawke to drop the suit, domestic airlines told the Victoria Supreme Court they were seeking $7 million from the union.

The court, which last month decided the airlines were entitled to compensation for lost business, will resume a hearing to decide the amount on Jan. 16.

In recent weeks a pilot recruitment program by the airlines has brought their flight schedules almost back to normal. However, the system is still heavily reliant on chartered aircraft from Poland, Yugoslavia, Britain, France and the United States.

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