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Sky Pirates is the story of the domestic airline pilots' dispute of 1989. It is also a story about power, determination and human fallibility.

The dispute was never a simple affair. What began as a group of elite employees trying to isolate themselves from the rest of the workforce, to win a large salary increase which they believed would restore their professional status, got out of control within a matter of weeks.

The attempt to use industrial muscle to force the airlines to negotiate - as they had in the past - put the pilots on a collision course not only with the airlines but also the Federal Government, the ACTU and the dispute-resolving tribunal, the Industrial Relations Commission.

The dispute became the longest, most traumatic, finan- cially damaging and precedent-setting in Australia's recent industrial history.


Brad Norington is industrial editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. He spends most of his time in Melbourne and observed at close quarters the main players in the pilots' dispute and the extraordinary events related in this book. Please click here to ask a question
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  • Seller location: Waitakere City, Auckland, NZ

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