Pilots, baggage handlers and ramp staff have threatened industrial action ahead of Christmas, with the final decision set to be handed down soon.
Pilots, baggage handlers and ramp staff have threatened industrial action ahead of Christmas, with the final decision set to be handed down soon.

Jetstar staff threaten to strike ahead of holiday peak

Strike action that could ground Jetstar flights is looming for the busy holiday period, with a vote due Friday on whether pilots, baggage handlers and ramp staff will walk off the job.

The airline is currently managing two separate threats of industrial action from the Transport Workers Union and the Australian Federation of Air Pilots.

Months of negotiations have been unsuccessful and both groups have held ballots to decide if they will go on strike in time for Christmas.

The results are due to be handed down by the end of Friday.

The TWU believes its group of about 250 Jetstar members are likely to backs plans for protected action, with close to 80 per cent having already voted.

Jetstar is currently negotiation two enterprise agreements, with both groups threatening strike action.
Jetstar is currently negotiation two enterprise agreements, with both groups threatening strike action.

A Jetstar spokesman said they would work to minimise disruption if strikes took place.

"As with all work groups across the Qantas and Jetstar Group, we have offered a 3% annual wage increase - which is above private sector wage growth of around per cent," he said.

"We remain committed to reaching a new agreement to support the great work our people do every day, but not any cost."

The disputes have centred around requests for better pay and complaints about understaffing and resources at terminals.

Potential strike action could begin within weeks and delay or disrupt flights around the summer holiday period.

MORE NEWS:

HOW AUSSIES ARE BEATING NEW CARRY-ON LUGGAGE RULES

MELBOURNE FAMILIES BOOTED OFF BALI FLIGHT

JETSTAR FLAGS FUTURE AVALON TO BALI FLIGHTS

TWU state secretary John Berger said the union was concerned Melbourne ground crew staff were being forced to work part-time hours at the airline.

"The work is insecure and badly paid, meaning that families are struggling," he said.

"Jetstar workers have toughed out the difficult years with the rest of the Qantas group, despite the airline remaining profitable.

"They took the pay freeze and the effect it will have on their retirement income.

"They now expect the company to improve pay and conditions, but all of their demands have been rejected."

kieran.rooney@news.com.au


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