Aviation

Brace yourselves, airport delays are coming

AAP

Last updated: 12:57pm

International travellers are being warned to expect delays caused by strike action at the country’s eight international airports from Monday.

Department of Immigration and Border Protection employees are planning 10 days of disruptions to protest pay and working conditions.

Staff processing departing and arriving travellers on international flights are prepared to stop work for two hours twice a day during morning and afternoon peaks in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Darwin, Coolangatta and Cairns.

The strikes started at 4am in Cairns and are scheduled for Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and the Gold Coast.

Border staff are furious over a pay proposal that effectively cuts current wages and leaves some workers $8000 a year worse off, the Community and Public Sector Union says.

But the union says the government is planning to fly hundreds of managers from interstate to act as “strike breakers” at airports.

“They’re turning heavy-handed tactics on their own workforce, when sitting down and resolving this 18-month dispute would be a better option,” CPSU secretary Nadine Flood said on Sunday.

“It’s an extraordinary operation at taxpayers’ expense.”

Border staff are voting on a proposed enterprise agreement, with the ballot closing on Monday.

It is unclear exactly how the recently merged Department of Immigration and Border Protection will fill the gaps.

“Arrangements are in place to protect Australia’s borders and minimise the impact on our operations,” the Australian Border Force posted on its Facebook page.

“But if you are going overseas, we advise you to arrive at the airport early.”

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AIRPORT STOPPAGES ON MONDAY

* Sydney (7am-9am and 7pm-9pm)

* Melbourne Tullamarine (5am-7am and 9pm-11pm)

* Brisbane (7am-9am and 7pm-9pm)

* Gold Coast (6.40am-8.40am and 7pm-9pm)

* Cairns (4am-6am and 6pm-8pm)

* Adelaide (6.30am-8.30am and 8pm-10pm)

* Perth (5.30am-7.30am and 5pm-7pm)

* Darwin (4.30am-6.30am and 5pm-7pm)

Image: reddit

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

One response to “Brace yourselves, airport delays are coming”

  1. This is not impacting on departures alone. I arrived at BNE International from HK on Sunday morning. Passengers from numerous flights were confronted with security staff having roped off entry into the duty free shopping area which is the only passage through to the immigration check point area. Security told all that due to “high pax congestion” in the immigration area, we would have to remain outside the duty free area, until congestion cleared. There were 4 e-ticket passport kiosks outside duty free, but only one was working.
    Once the congestion had cleared and we were allowed though duty free and into the immigration queuing area, we were confronted with a mass of people in different queues, snaking left and right, backwards and forwards, filling the entire area.
    I sincerely felt sorry for all of those first-time visitors to Australia, especially if they didn’t speak English.
    The federal government’s cuts to border agency staff numbers at airports and their wages is leaving arriving passengers with a terrible sense of welcome into Australia.
    Airports are investing heavily into providing better airport facilities and enhancing passenger experience, but are unable to influence the same well-overdue improvements in the border agency areas. Furthermore, and perhaps even more importantly, these cuts are demoralizing our border agency teams and staff, much-needed and highly-skilled people who fulfill crucial roles processing and screening visitors and returning residents to Australia, for the safety and security of our nation.
    Our federal politicians should only be allowed to use the regular passenger queues in airports for the next 6 months of their international travel (including any personal travel with their families) into and out of Australian airports instead of being able to use their regular diplomatic/VIP channels. Then they just might realize the mess and ill-feeling they have created for all airport users and our important and very necessary border agency staff.

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