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Irish Qantas boss is sent racist letter in airline row

IRISH Qantas boss Alan Joyce has been sent death threats and described as "foreign filth" in a series of threatening letters as union action at the Australian airline turns violent.

The Tallaght man is reviewing his security after a typed letter, sent to his home, read in part: "It's coming soon Paddy. You can't even see it!

"Qantas is our airline, started & staffed by Australians, not foreign filth like you. All your evil plans ... will come back to you very swiftly, & kick you (sic) Irish FOREIGN A*** out."

Other senior staff had their car windows smashed and homes damaged after refusing to strike in a bitter industrial dispute over a restructure that could see 1,000 job losses.

In an unusual step Alan Joyce sent an email to 35,000 staff alerting them to the threats.

"Intimidation and bullying in any workplace is something we should not allow," he said.

"I have referred these matters to the police, and our security team is investigating.

"I call on all union leaders to desist from inflammatory language and to encourage their members to exercise restraint."

The former Aer Lingus employee, who became CEO of Qantas in 2008, has been advised to review his security.

Qantas spokeswoman Olivia Wirth also received a death threat letter sent to her home.

The Australian Licensed Aircraft Engineers Association said it had already called on its members to obey the law.

"We sent a message about a month ago to our members, 'Just play it legally' that's what worked last time," said national secretary Steve Purvinas.

csheehy@herald.ie