Last-ditch attempt to stop Jetstar Christmas strike

 

Jetstar and the Australian Federation of Air Pilots (AFAP) are set to meet today before a union vote decides if pilots go ahead with Christmas strike plans.

The Fair Work Commission authorised the pilots union last week to hold a ballot vote to determine whether to move further with their claims.

The union vote does not have a date set yet, which could place the strike during one of the busiest times for airlines.

Jetstar and the Australian Federation of Air Pilots are set to meet today before a union vote decides if pilots go ahead with Christmas strike plans. Picture: Supplied
Jetstar and the Australian Federation of Air Pilots are set to meet today before a union vote decides if pilots go ahead with Christmas strike plans. Picture: Supplied

The ballot vote will decide on a number of different actions ranging from deciding not to work overtime, refusing to follow standard fuel-saving procedures, or stopping work for up to 24 hours.

Under the current enterprise agreement Jetstar pilots have been receiving three per cent wage increases each year, as well as other benefits and allowances, the company reported.

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots asked for a pilot cost raise that was closer to a 15 per cent.

Both pilots and the company claimed to remain committed to a mutually-agreed resolution.

Pay negotiations broke down after nearly a year, with Jetstar highlighting that future actions from the union would not change its position.

Earlier this month, AFAP executive director Simon Lutton said pilots were concerned about rostering practices that led to pilot fatigue but which had not been addressed in negotiations to date.

"The Jetstar pilots are disappointed to have to take this step but, as negotiating with the company in good faith has got them nowhere, they have been left with no choice," Mr Lutton said.

"Jetstar pilots are the lowest-paid jet airline pilots employed by the four major carriers operating in Australia and they are tired of not being valued as highly as their peers at other airlines."

Mr Lutton acknowledged any industrial action taken by pilots would affect the busy Christmas period.

A Jetstar spokeswoman at the time said it was disappointing AFAP had applied for a vote on industrial action given they had been in "constructive discussions" about a new enterprise agreement since the start of the year.

- with staff writers


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