Jetstar strike to cause chaos
JETSTAR ground crews and baggage handlers across the country have voted to strike in the weeks leading up to Christmas and beyond, throwing festive plans for passengers in to turmoil.
The decision was taken after the airline operators rejected workers demands for better employment conditions, which included 30 guaranteed hours of work per week and increases in current wages.
The 94 per cent vote for industrial action covers 250 workers in Sydney, Melbourne, Avalon, Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide and will allow them to take strikes in the coming weeks and months.
In a statement sent to news.com.au, a spokesperson for Jetstar said there will be "strong contingency plans in place" during the strike period.
"We are surprised the Transport Workers Union pursued a protected action ballot given they only provided their full list of claims two weeks before applying to take this step," a spokesperson said.
"As with all work groups across the Qantas and Jetstar Group, we have offered a 3 per cent annual wage increase - which is above private sector wage growth of around 2 per cent.
"The impact of any potential industrial action by members of the TWU is likely to be minimal as we have strong contingency plans in place. We remain committed to reaching a new agreement to support the great work our people do every day, but not any cost."
The Transport Workers Union said it was unfortunate demands from workers were not met by the airline.
"Jetstar forces its workers on to part-time hours, some are guaranteed no more than 20 hours a week. The rates are low and families are struggling. Jetstar workers took a pay freeze in recent years and they expected the company treat them fairly now they are earning bumper profits. Disappointingly Jetstar have rejected the vast majority of the workers' demands outright," TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said in a statement.
Under the current enterprise agreement, Jetstar pilots have been receiving 3 per cent wage increases each year, as well as other benefits and allowances, the company reported.
Pay negotiations broke down after nearly a year, with Jetstar highlighting that future actions from the union will not change its position.
Workers have sent a strong message to @JetstarAirways that we're a powerful force ready to fight for fairness.— TWU Australia (@TWUAus) 6 December 2019
Find out more about why airport workers are taking action and show your support: https://t.co/VRQuZVf5J6 #TWUandProud #SafeandSecureSkies pic.twitter.com/zU1yCLj4NK
It is understood that under the current enterprise agreement, pilots' base salaries range from $230,000 to $320,000.
News.com.au has contacted Jetstar for comment.
More to come