What You Need To Know About The Jetstar Strike On Thursday
As a stand-off between Jetstar and its workers continues this week, passengers are bracing for more flight disruptions with planned strikes to go ahead across the country on Thursday.
The airline has already cancelled 28 of its domestic flights in a bid to minimise disruption to passengers.
Jetstar's baggage and ground workers have vowed to walk off the job at airports in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns and Avalon in two-hour-long strikes which will kick off from early in the morning.
- In Sydney, workers are set to walk off at 10am and return to work at noon.
- In Melbourne workers will strike at 9:30am and return to work at 11:30am
- At Avalon airport staff will strike at 8am and return at 10am.
- In Brisbane staff will walk off the job at 6am and return at 8am
- In Cairns, the strike will begin at 5:30am and finish at 7:30am.
- And at Adelaide airport staff will walk off the job at 6am and return at 8am.
Staff are demanding a pay increase to what the Transport Workers' Union (TWU) describes as "poverty wages".
The changes would include more rest breaks, a guaranteed 12-hour break between shifts and an annual wage increase of 4 percent.
TWU's national secretary, Michael Kaine, said the company could meet pay demands by increasing wages by just 90 cents an hour.
"That is minuscule when you have $4 billion in revenue and $1.3 billion in profit,' Kaine told reporters on Wednesday.
"This action needn't occur," Kaine added.
"It's really in Jetstar's hands, but Jetstar is missing in action."
But the airline is refusing to budge, saying it won't be swayed by what it describes as the union's "stand-over tactics".
A spokesperson for the airline said the union's claims actually equated to a 12 percent increase in costs and a six percent increase in salary and super for Jetstar ground crew.
They added that Jetstar had repeatedly told the union it was willing to meet if the union provided "clear evidence" it was willing to discuss a deal that fits within the company's wage policy.
"We would never put the safety of our people or passengers at risk and we have robust safety management systems in place which are regularly reviewed and audited by regulators, including CASA," the spokesperson said.
The airline said it's now focusing on minimising disruption to customers on Thursday.
"[We] have strong contingencies in place to protect customers’ travel with the vast majority of our flights operating as scheduled tomorrow," Jetstar's spokesperon said.
Earlier this week on Monday, the company announced it was cutting 10 percent of its domestic flights in January in response to multiple strikes taken by staff over the last week.
Staff represented by the TWU and pilots represented by Australian Federation of Air Pilots started industrial action on Friday which continued over the weekend.
The airline released a statement on Monday morning saying the cuts, as well as last week's strikes, would cost them up to $25 million in lost earnings but were necessary to "avoid disrupting customers at short notice".
It's understood no international flights are expected to be affected by the strike on Thursday and many customers on affected flights are believed to have been offered alternative flights within four hours of when they were originally due to depart.