TWU MEDIA RELEASE, 13 January 2020
The Transport Workers’ Union is calling on Jetstar to bring a real offer to the negotiation table with a meeting between workers and the airline set for the end of the month.
Please attribute the following to Michael Kaine, National Secretary of Transport Workers’ Union:
“Following two sets of national industrial action Jetstar management have agreed to meet with baggage handlers and ground staff on 29 January 2020.
“The workforce hopes that at this meeting the company will for the first time put forward its proposals for consideration, rather than just rejecting our modest claims. As a sign of good faith and a desire to see genuine negotiations we’ve assured Jetstar we will not take any further industrial action before the close of negotiations on 29 January.”
“Our claims are modest and they address safety and pay concerns. Jetstar workers are the lowest paid in the Qantas group.
“Working conditions at Jetstar are tough with the company cutting the number of crew working to the point that safety is a problem. Crew want more rest breaks and more trained staff so they can do their jobs without risking injury. Jetstar made revenues of $4 billion this year while the Qantas Group made profits of $1.3 billion. These workers stuck with the company during the tough times when Jetstar and Qantas insisted on pay freezes. Now they rightly expect to be treated fairly. It’s time for the scales to be brought back into balance, and the company to meet their modest claims.”
Background: Jetstar baggage handlers and ground staff are asking for more rest breaks, a guaranteed 12 hour break between shifts, commitment to engaging Jetstar employees rather than untrained casual staff, guaranteed 30 hours a week, annual wage increases of 4%, recognition of workers having to take on more responsibilities and better consultation with workers.