I haven't called Gillard, Qantas boss says

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce says the airline has not asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard to intervene in its industrial disputes.

Mr Joyce also made clear he had not spoken to NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell or Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu regarding their joint letter to Ms Gillard asking her to get involved in the carrier's battles with unions.

Questioned as to whether he had contacted Ms Gillard to request the government's help, Mr Joyce told ABC radio: "We haven't. (But) the (Fair Work) Act is very clear.

"The prime minister and the government have the ability to intervene, if they so wish, in national interest terms."

On the letter from Mr O'Farrell and Mr Baillieu, he said he understood "where the premiers are coming from".

"Not only is this causing damage to Qantas ... the knock-on effect of this on the general economy is massive."

The Qantas boss said the airline was having difficulty with three of 15 unions but believed the "vast majority" of shareholders would support management at the company's annual general meeting in Sydney today.

"They know our strategy for the future of the company is the right strategy and I have no doubt that support will be endorsed today.

"I hope that will change (the unions') attitudes in terms of negotiations."

AAP

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