Aviation

Jetstar breathes sigh of relief as strike action paused ahead of negotiations with workers

The Transport Workers’ Union (TWU) is calling on Jetstar to bring a real offer to the negotiation table with a meeting between workers and the airline set for the end of the month.

Michael Kaine, national secretary of the TWU, said Jetstar management have agreed to meet with baggage handlers and ground staff on 29 January 2020, following two rounds of national industrial action that forced the airline to cancel at least 30 flights and 28 flights respectively in December.

“The workforce hopes that at this meeting the company will for the first time put forward its proposals for consideration, rather than just rejecting our modest claims,” he said.

“As a sign of good faith and a desire to see genuine negotiations, we’ve assured Jetstar we will not take any further industrial action before the close of negotiations on 29 January.

“Our claims are modest and they address safety and pay concerns. Jetstar workers are the lowest paid in the Qantas group.”

Jetstar baggage handlers and ground staff are asking for more rest breaks from the airline, as well as a guaranteed 12-hour break between shifts, and a commitment to engaging Jetstar employees rather than untrained casual staff.

Baggage handlers and ground staff at Jetstar are also seeking 30 hours of guaranteed work per week, annual wage increases of four per cent, recognition of workers having to take on more responsibilities, and better consultation with workers by the airline.

Travel Weekly has contacted Jetstar for comment.

Image: iStock/CraigRJD

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