Jetstar workers to walk off the job over Christmas period
Travel plans over Christmas may be thrown into chaos this year, after Jetstar employees voted in favour of industrial action. Baggage handlers and ground crew will walk off the job over their work hours and wages after the company "rejected basic demands"."(This includes) 30 guaranteed hours of work per week and increases to current wages, which are among the lowest rates in the industry," the Transport Workers Union said.
Jetstar faces a weekend of strikes as baggage handlers and ground crew stop work followed by four-hour stoppages by pilots.
Jetstar ground staff will walk off the job at different times on Friday in Sydney, at Melbourne's Tullamarine and Avalon airports and in Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide.
The strike - less than two weeks out from Christmas - comes after the budget airline rejected workers' demands for pay increases, minimum hours on the job and safety improvements.
"Jetstar won't listen when these workers say to them that they simply can't survive on 20 hours of work a week," Transport Workers Union national secretary Michael Kaine said on Tuesday.
Jetstar considers January flight cancellations to deal with pilot strike
Jetstar is preparing to major flight schedule changes through January in anticipation of pilot strikes continuing into the new year , as it braces for pilots to walk off the job this weekend. The brewing industrial dispute comes as the Qantas-owned budget carrier was hit by lengthy delays and cancellations on Tuesday due to an IT outage that affected its check-in counters at multiple airports across the country.
The union claims Jetstar makes $4 billion in revenue, while workers are forced onto insecure low-paid work.
Negotiations broke down after the company rejected demands including for more rest breaks, a guaranteed 12-hour break between shifts and a guaranteed 30 hours a week.
This first day of disruption will be followed by pilots halting planes for four hours both on Saturday and Sunday.
Overall, Jetstar claimed it will cancel 44 services on Saturday and 46 services on Sunday 15 December.
Pilots industrial action will continue throughout the week with a range of lower level bans likely to cause delays.
The company says any customers travelling from December 13 to December 20 can request a full refund prior to flying.
Pay negotiations broke down after nearly a year, with Jetstar warning it wasn't prepared to alter its position.
"The union's demands would put significant pressure on the low fares our customers rely on and force us to review our investments," Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans said.
"If we accept an effective 15 per cent net increase in pay that the union is demanding, there will be significant upward pressure on the low fares our customers rely on."
Jetstar CEO says he will not bow to 'unsustainable' union demands .
Jetstar is willing to come to the table with pilots after they walked off the job - but not at any cost.Holidaymakers and travellers could face further disruptions in the coming weeks after Jetstar's CEO said the budget airline will not bow to "unsustainable" union demands.