A union has accused Qantas of censorship after the airline pulled a series of in-flight advertisements promoting jobs for Australians in the mining sector.
But the airline says the ads are "of a political nature" and were pulled after being mistakenly run for a day on some Qantas domestic flights.
The ads were commissioned by the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) and were scheduled to be shown on Qantas flights for a week.
The ads promote the union's "Let's Spread It Around" campaign highlighting that many skilled Australians seeking work in the mining sector were missing out to overseas workers.
CFMEU national secretary Michael O'Connor on Thursday condemned Qantas's decision, saying that shutting down a point of view in a legitimate public debate was undemocratic and an abuse of power.
"There is nothing remotely controversial about these commercials," he said.
Mr O'Connor said the ads simply made clear case that there are two sides to the resources boom, something the overwhelming majority of Australians would agree with.
"Given the way Qantas management treat their own staff, perhaps this decision is not so surprising."
Mr O'Connor said Qantas locked out its 30,000 strong workforce last year over a union campaign to stop offshoring and outsourcing.
But a Qantas spokesman said in a statement that the airline's in-flight advertising guidelines prevented advertising of a political nature.
"The advertisement was screened in error. When the error was identified the advertisement was removed," he said.
The ad shows Australian workers saying they have relevant skills but cannot get jobs in the mining sector.
A voice-over is heard saying: "There are two sides to every story.
"The mining companies are bringing in thousands of temporary overseas workers yet thousands of Australians are looking for mining jobs.
"The mining companies don't own the resource, we all do. Let's spread it around."