Qantas has responded to the announcement that more than 700 aircraft engineers at Qantas and Jetstar Airways will be out of work for “one minute” in August.
Australian Association of Licensed Aircraft Engineers (ALAEA) Commonwealth Secretary Steve Purvinas told members at a meeting on Wednesday that a majority voted in favor of the industrial action.
An airline engineer is asking employers to raise wages by 12% to make up for four years of stagnant wages.
The union’s first action is to suspend all airlines for one minute in late August.
Scott McConnell, Qantas’ engineering executive manager, said Qantas was “disappointed” by the union’s decision to strike and had contingency plans in place to deal with the disruption.
“It is very disappointing that the unions have taken this step towards industrial action,” McConnell said.
“The union has repeatedly said industrial action will not affect customers’ travel plans and hopes they will keep their word, but they also have contingency plans in case they do not. increase.
“The entire aviation sector is still recovering from the effects of Covid, and the threat of a strike is the last thing travelers need.”
“The first action will be token 1,” Purvinas told members.
“Of course, a one-minute suspension will not hurt any airline, and it also shows our willingness to negotiate in good faith and not try to hurt an airline.”
Purvinas said the token suspension is intended to give airlines an opportunity to negotiate.
“We want to give time to resolve these issues before we have to do something that could confuse the public,” he said.
The strike comes at a difficult time for Australia’s national flag carriers, as the airline industry suffers from staff shortages that have led to flight cancellations, delays and lost luggage.
If the suspension does not motivate negotiations, the union will notify the airlines of further work suspensions.
During these suspensions, unions have offered to provide “alternative labor provisions” to airlines.
“We want to assure the public that we will not harm their services,” Purvinas said.
“Our target is an airline that we are not negotiating with in good faith.”
ALAEA members voted against the use of overtime bans to avoid “worse” an already difficult situation in the industry.
A Qantas spokesperson told NCA NewsWire in July that a 12% wage increase was “absolutely unaffordable” for the airline.
According to them, Qantas has a policy of 2% annual growth for all employees across the group.
Airlines have a history of not holding back when it comes to dealing with industrial action by trade unions.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce infamously grounded the airline in 2011 during a dispute with the ALAEA and two other unions, leaving 200,000 passengers stranded without notice. I was.
first published as Qantas reacts to promises union strike won’t hurt customers
Qantas engineers implement one-minute shutdown
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