Aviation

Air New Zealand strike could cause major disruptions just days before Christmas

Air New Zealand’s aircraft maintenance workers are planning to strike for three days just before Christmas over concerns about long hours and cuts to sick leave.

Negotiations between the airline and unions representing Air New Zealand Engineering and Logistics entered their third day today after Monday and Tuesday’s discussions continued late into the night.

According to Stuff, the unions, Aviation and Marine Engineers Association (AMEA) and E tū, called for the industrial action in response to the airline’s low offer and requests for cuts to sick leave and overtime.

“While the bargaining team is trying hard to get a workable offer, the union members are steadfast in their commitment to taking industrial action if necessary,” Savage, E tū’s head of aviation told Stuff.

“We will keep on talking about possible solutions.”

Air New Zealand General Manager Customer Experience Anita Hawthorne said in a statement the airline will do all it can to get customers where they need to be this Christmas.

“We know customers are very concerned about their travel plans at this important time of the year and unfortunately we are not in a position to provide certainty at this time.

“We would like to reassure customers that we remain committed to mediation with unions and we are still hopeful of reaching a resolution which sees strike action averted.

“We are working on contingency plans to keep our flights moving the best we can if, as a worst-case scenario, strike action should go ahead – unfortunately, some disruption would be inevitable though.”

The airline has confirmed that no flight delays or cancellations are in place for the days of the proposed strikes and normal fare conditions remain at this stage.

Customers are advised to sign up to Air New Zealand travel alerts and ensure their contact information is in their booking to receive the latest flight information.

Customers are also advised to avoid calling the airline’s contact centre for information about the strike action as staff currently have no further updates to share.

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