Negotiations have soured between Jetstar and its ground crews with a union claiming the airline has threatened to ground its entire fleet.
Qantas-owned Jetstar has been bargaining with the Transport Workers Union for a year with negotiations deadlocked over a suggested 18-month pay freeze and overtime conditions.
However, the TWU has expressed its intention to apply to the Fair Work Commission for “good faith bargaining orders” against Jetstar, which it said comes in response to threats by the airline that it would ground its fleet.
During negotiations and strikes in 2011, Qantas grounded its entire fleet and locked out staff, forcing Fair Work Australia to step in.
“They have showed us clearly they’ll go right back to 2011 to that dismal weekend where 200,000 people were stranded by Qantas,” Transport Workers Union national secretary Tony Sheldon said.
“It raises serious questions about blackmailing the Australian public.”
However, Jetstar denied any threats of a 2011-style grounding were made at the bargaining table.
“We’re not sure what parallel universe the TWU is living in, but we have made no such suggestions,” said a Jetstar spokesperson.
“Jetstar’s ground handlers get fair reward for their contribution to the airline.”