Ground crew at Aussie airports could potentially strike over their pay and the truly cooked working conditions they’re currently experiencing. Honestly, valid.
The potential strike would specifically involve around 700 baggage handlers and ramp operators for the company Dnata, which is owned by Emirates. It supplies workers for Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Qantas, Air Canada and a bunch of other airlines.
According to 9News, the Transport Workers Union is applying to the Fair Work Commission to hold a vote about whether to strike. The TWU is negotiating with Dnata over a new workplace agreement.
“We stay committed to working with our trade union partners and continuing our conversations with the TWU and employees in good faith while working to minimise the impact of a potential industrial action on our customers’ operations,” Dnata said in a statement, per 9News.
“We have and will continue to prioritise Australian jobs and our local workforce.”
The TWU’s national assistant secretary Nick McIntosh told the ABC that aviation workers “feel they have little choice” but to strike.
“The last thing they want to do after two years of hell for them… is to take this sort of industrial action.”
He said the lack of “creation of secure jobs” has impacted workers.
In a statement, the TWU said Dnata “has struggled to fill vacant positions because of low pay and casual, part-time work”.
“But rather than lift standards or guarantee workers more hours in their contracts, Dnata tried to bring in overseas workers at great expense,” it said per Sky News.
“Workers successfully knocked back that plan, but are now faced with the likelihood of having to take strike action to achieve fair pay increases and job security.”
If the strike goes ahead it’s set to hit airports in Sydney, Melbourne and Brissy.
The travel industry has been, in a phrase, an absolute shitstorm for workers and customers of late.
It’s a super stressful time for travellers — so imagine how much pressure airport and airline workers are under at the moment, especially given the massive spike in COVID cases.
News of the potential strike comes after Sydney was ranked the ninth worst airport in the world for delays. The award literally no one wants to win.
According to FlightAware data, 34.2% of flights at Sydney Airport were delayed between May 26 and July 19.
Maybe it’s finally time to get really into train holidays.