Jetstar Ground Service Threaten April Holiday Strike

11th Mar 2016

April holidays could be a rough time for Jetstar as hundreds of its ground workers could walk off their job. The Transport Workers Union (TWU) has recently lodged an application for a ballot with the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to measure the support this kind of action would have.

This is all due to a recent decision by the workers to reject a new deal that the Australian low cost carrier has offered them.

TWU: Jetstar Refused to Guarantee Full-Time Jobs for Ground Workers

National secretary for TWU Mr Tony Sheldon explained that Jetstar management refused to guarantee any full-time jobs for ground personnel. In addition, the negotiations stalled when Jetstar brass tried to push in a six day work week sans penalties for part-time staff.

Mr Sheldon said about this:

"These are the lowest paid workers directly employed in the Qantas Group and their conditions are inferior as well. WE are prepared to be reasonable and want negotiations with management which address employees' needs along with the company's interests."

The carrier's half-year profits for until December 2015 $262 million, which was 'larger than any full-year profits'.

About this, TWU national secretary said:

"Despite these outstanding results, Jetstar's employees are prepared to consider an 18 month wage freeze if improvements to working conditions can be agreed."

The Fair Work Commission will hear TWU's application this Friday. If it gives a green light, the TWU will be given a two week window in which it can put it to its members. After that, they have seven days in which to vote on the matter.

TWU is also required to give a notice to Jetstar three days before the strike.

Jetstar: TWU Threatening Customers' Travel Plans

A spokesman for Jetstar said:

"While industrial action is by no means confirmed, should the union go through with it we have contingency plans in place to ensure customers will not be disrupted. If we agreed to the TWU's demands, it would significantly drive up our costs and weaken our ability to offer low fares to Australian travellers.

The spokesman also said the carrier is 'disappointed the TWU had resorted to threatening the travel plans of customers'.

In case the industrial action is approved, TWU members could go in a strike in the second week of April.