The industrial umpire will impose a final solution in the dispute between Qantas and three key unions after negotiations broke down well ahead of the deadline for a peace deal.
The impasse has been referred to Fair Work Australia but an outcome could be months away, perhaps well into the new year.
But despite a narrowing of the issues, deep divisions and bitterness remains.
The Transport Workers Union, which represents baggage handlers, has accused Qantas of wrecking the negotiations in order to force the dispute to binding arbitration.
But Qantas denies it stonewalled negotiations to get the result it wanted all along.
Listen to both sides - Mick Pieri from the TWU and Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce.
Here's the extended version of my interview with Alan Joyce.