A Jetstar baggage carousel is seen empty at Sydney Domestic Airport on December 14.
A Jetstar baggage carousel is seen empty at Sydney Domestic Airport on December 14.

Jetstar employees set to walk off the job again today

Jetstar baggage and ramp workers will walk off the job today- striking to increase wages and guarantee working hours.

Strikes will occur in Sydney from 10am until 12pm, in Melbourne from 9.30am to 11.30am, Brisbane from 6am until 8am, Cairns from 5.20am until 7.30am, Adelaide from 6am until 8am and Avalon from 8am until 10am.

Workers are standing to include more rest breaks, a guaranteed 12 hour break between shifts, commitment to engaging Jetstar employees rather than untrained casual staff and guarantee 30 hours a week per employee.

Workers also want wage increases of four per cent, recognition of having to take on more responsibilities and better consultation with workers.

The budget airline claims it will have lost $25 million if pay fights with two unions drags into January, with the budget airline planning to cut more flights.

Ground crew represented by the Transport Workers Union and the Australian Federation of Air Pilots started industrial action on Friday and continued over the weekend.

HERE IS WHAT WE KNOW AND HOW IT AFFECTS PASSENGERS

WHAT IS THE INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE ABOUT?

The industrial action comes after the budget airline rejected workers' demands for pay increases, minimum hours on the job and safety improvements.

Members of the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) - which includes 80 per cent of Jetstar's 830 pilots - and ground staff are being represented by the Transport Workers Union which has asked for annual wage increase of four per cent, more rest breaks, a guaranteed 12-hour break between shifts and minimum 30 hour working weeks.

TWU officials have claimed ground crew workers, who earn an average of $70,000 a year, are struggling to cover living costs because they aren't guaranteed a set amount of hours each week.

Both unions started negotiating new employment agreements with Jetstar about six months ago, but talks have broken down.

Jetstar has refused to agree to their demands saying they are "unsustainable".

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW?

Jetstar has announced it will cut 10 per cent of its domestic flights in January 2020 in direct response to the strikes.

Alex Walkling and Jessica Worboys at Sydney Airport after having their Jetstar flight to Hobart cancelled. Picture: Brett Costello
Alex Walkling and Jessica Worboys at Sydney Airport after having their Jetstar flight to Hobart cancelled. Picture: Brett Costello

HOW MANY PASSENGERS ARE AFFECTED BY THE STRIKES?

With more than 100 flights cancelled last weekend and a further 10 per cent of domestic flights being cancelled in January, tens of thousands of passengers will be affected. News Corp understands around 800 flights will be impacted.

WHAT IS HAPPENING BETWEEN DECEMBER 20 AND JANUARY 3, 2020?

Jetstar pilots and ground staff have vowed not to strike and will be working during this period - will all flights going ahead at this stage.

WHAT WILL JETSTAR DO TO ENSURE THERE ARE ENOUGH WORKERS HELPING WITH BAGGAGE AND OTHER ISSUES?

In a statement on Monday, Jetstar has stated it would use third party suppliers for tasks such as loading bags and operating tugs as workers belonging to the Transport Workers Union continue to strike.

WHAT IS JETSTAR DOING TO HELP PASSENGERS BEFORE DECEMBER 20 IF THERE'S A STRIKE?

Jetstar are offering to move passengers to an alternative flight, or they can also receive a refund if they no longer wish to travel, or they can move their travel dates at no additional cost - they get the choice upfront.

Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans speaks to media during a press conference at the Jetstar operations centre. Picture: AAP
Jetstar CEO Gareth Evans speaks to media during a press conference at the Jetstar operations centre. Picture: AAP

WHAT DO PASSENGERS BOOKED ON JETSTAR FLIGHTS NEED TO DO BEFORE JANUARY 3 IF THEY'RE CONCERNED?

If a flight is cancelled, Jetstar will contact customers as soon as possible, but if anyone is concerned about their flights they should contact Jetstar on 13 15 38.

WHAT WILL JETSTAR DO WITH FLIGHTS IT CAN STILL RUN?

Jetstar will fly where possible, but will move as many passengers as possible off cancelled Jetstar flights on to flights within the Qantas Group. Those who cannot be accommodated with another flight will be refunded.

WILL JETSTAR REFUND ALL TICKETS, NOT JUST THOSE WHO BOUGHT A REFUNDABLE TICKET?

Jetstar has confirmed to News Corp it will refund anyone who has a plane ticket for a flight that has been or is about to be cancelled because of the strikes - no matter what kind of ticket it is.

Jetstar flights are displayed as cancelled on a departures board at Sydney Domestic Airport on December 14. Picture: Getty
Jetstar flights are displayed as cancelled on a departures board at Sydney Domestic Airport on December 14. Picture: Getty


HOW FAST WILL REFUNDS OCCUR?

Jetstar has told News Corp refunds could be made within days after notifying passengers of their flight being cancelled. News Corp has requested further clarification on this.

WILL THERE BE ANY DOMESTIC ROUTES DEFINITELY AFFECTED IN JANUARY?

No single domestic flight route will be affected by the strikes.

Jetstar has said it is reviewing all domestic flights and are reducing their frequency on routes were the have a large number of flights each day.

They will consolidate passengers on a smaller number of services. They started contacting affected customers today and expect to finish by tomorrow.

ARE INTERNATIONAL FLIGHTS AFFECTED BY THE STRIKE?

All international flights in December and January are unaffected. But the budget airline is looking to sell three 787-8 aircraft on international routes after a review of its fleet found the planes were making a financial loss.

A final decision about the three planes will be announced by March 2020, and could impact those who use Jetstar to fly to Honolulu and parts of South East Asia.


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