Aviation

“We won’t be swayed”: more cancellations today as Jetstar workers strike again

Jetstar was forced to cancel 28 flights today as ground crew and baggage handlers walked off the job once again.

Strikes took place between 6am and 11:30am across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns, Adelaide and Avalon airports after Jetstar refused to meet workers claims addressing wages and working hours.

However, according to The Guardian, workers have confirmed they will take no further action over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

“We won’t be swayed by TWU’s stand-over tactics and have strong contingencies in place to protect customers’ travel,” a Jetstar spokesperson said.

“As we have said repeatedly to the TWU we are willing to meet if the union provides clear evidence they are prepared to discuss a deal that fits within our wages policy. Until then, we are focused on minimising disruption caused by the union’s actions.

The airline said it contacted affected customers on Tuesday to offer them alternative flights, a refund of a no-cost change to their travel date.

No international flights were affected.

The Transport Workers Union (TWU) claim baggage and ramp workers are the lowest-paid workers in the Qantas group. They are asking the airline to commit to 30 hours of guaranteed work a week, more rest breaks, 12 hours between shifts, more consultation with workers and commitment on the engagement of untrained casual staff.

“We have appealed to Jetstar to come to its senses and accept our modest claims,” Michael Kaine, TWU’s national secretary said.

“We requested an end to the stand-over, bullying tactics aimed at forcing workers to accept poverty wages. All we have received is a response from Jetstar that they won’t negotiate beyond their wages policy.

“We don’t agree with this wage policy and ironically enough we don’t think that the Jetstar CEO on $3.7 million or the Qantas CEO who earned $24 million agrees with it either, given their salary packages.”

The spokesperson for Jetstar said the TWU’s claims equate to a 12 per cent increase in costs, including a 6 per cent increase in salary and super.

Last weekend Jetstar had to cancel just under 100 flights as Jetstar pilots walked off the job for four hours on both Saturday and Sunday.

Earlier this week the airline said it would cut 10 per cent of its January flights to minimise disruption from further strike action.

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