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Qantas cabin crews threaten strike action


The Flight Attendants Association of Australia claims Qantas crew have been threatened with outsourcing if they do not sign a new enterprise agreement that “dramatically cut conditions”.

 

“We’re talking about deals that would extend duty lengths at the same time as reducing rest provisions, all the while not even guaranteeing work on the new (A321neo) aircraft,” FAAA national secretary Teri O’Toole said.

 

This means that cabin crew could be working for 12 hours instead of 9.45 hours, and up to 14 hours in the event of a disruption, the Australian reported. 

 

To protest such changes, two groups of domestic cabin crew have filed applications in the Fair Work Commission to undertake work bans and strikes.

 

The earliest date for any action would be 18 November. 

 

O’Toole told The Australian that crew were standing up to “disgraceful outsourcing threats from Qantas management”.

 

However a Qantas spokesperson has denied such threats, claiming that the airline is focused on “reaching agreement with our people”. 

 

“It’s not our plan to outsource this work,” they told the Australian.

 

According to O’Toole, Qantas cabin crew “are already exhausted trying to keep up with demand on a skeleton workforce following cuts to crew numbers per flight (from five to four) and an overenthusiastic redundancy scheme to cull workers and cut costs”.

 

To which Qantas insists it has “rigorous fatigue-management processes in place for crew”, not to mention that the changes in shift length Qantas is asking for are the same that apply to crew working at other domestic airlines in Australia.

 

The Qantas spokesperson said the FAAA had signed off on those conditions for other airlines and it was “bizarre they were now claiming they’re unsafe”.

 

“The deal we’re proposing offers pay increases, the opportunity to secure thousands of dollars in incentives and an expansion of overtime payments,” the spokesperson said.

 

“We’re going to keep negotiating in good faith on these agreements because we want our existing crew to operate the new aircraft when they arrive.”

 

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Published: 12 October 2022

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