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Multiple strikes to hit major Aust. airports on Friday 13th

Morning and afternoon/evening strikes announced for Jetstar staff

After voting in favour of taking industrial action late last week, Jetstar ground crew and baggage handlers have confirmed they will strike this Friday, 13 December.


Brisbane Airport (Image Mark Harada)


According to the Transport Workers Union (TWU), over 250 workers will hold two 2-hour stoppages at Sydney, Melbourne, Avalon, Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide airports over poor conditions and pay “which are among the lowest in the industry”.


The following strike times have been confirmed for:

Sydney:         5.30am to 7.30am and 5.30pm to 7.30pm

Melbourne:    9.30am to 11.30am and 4pm to 6pm

Avalon:          8.30am to 10.30am and 6.30pm to 8.30pm

Brisbane:       6am to 8am and 6pm to 8pm

Cairns:           5.30am to 7.30am and 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Adelaide:       6am to 8am and 6pm to 8pm


The vote on protected industrial action was held after Jetstar rejected most of the workers’ demands, which included “more rest breaks, a guaranteed 12 hour break between shifts, commitment to engaging Jetstar employees rather than untrained casual staff, guaranteed 30 hours a week, annual wage increases of 4%, recognition of workers having to take on more responsibilities and better consultation with workers”.


“Australia has an underemployment problem that is hurting the economy and Jetstar is among the companies causing the problem,” TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine said.


“Ground crew are given as few as 20 hours guaranteed a week with rates so low that their families are forced to struggle.”


Mr Kaine went on to describe working conditions at Jetstar as “tough with the company cutting the number of crew to the point that safety is a problem”.


“Crew want more rest breaks and more trained staff so they can do their jobs without risking injury,” he said. 


“Jetstar made revenues of $4 billion this year while the Qantas Group made profits of $1.3 billion. 


“These workers stuck with the company during the tough times when Jetstar and Qantas insisted on pay freezes. Now they rightly expect to be treated fairly.”


According to the ACCC, Australia’s four major airports - Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth - made over $2.2 billion in profit in 2018.


In related news, Jetstar passengers were forced to wait longer than normal today after a number of airports around Australia, NZ and Asia, experienced an IT outage that affected check-in systems.


“We appreciate delays are frustrating and apologise to customers for the impact to their journey,” the carrier said in a tweet this morning.



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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 10 December 2019

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