Jetstar faces a weekend of strikes as baggage handlers and ground crew stop work followed by four-hour stoppages by pilots.
Jetstar ground staff will walk off the job at different times on Friday in Sydney, at Melbourne’s Tullamarine and Avalon airports and in Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide.
The strike – less than two weeks out from Christmas – comes after the budget airline rejected workers’ demands for pay increases, minimum hours on the job and safety improvements.
“Jetstar won’t listen when these workers say to them that they simply can’t survive on 20 hours of work a week,” Transport Workers Union national secretary Michael Kaine said on Tuesday.
— Emily McMillan (@EmMcMillan1) December 12, 2019
The union claims Jetstar makes $4 billion in revenue, while workers are forced onto insecure low-paid work.
Negotiations broke down after the company rejected demands including for more rest breaks, a guaranteed 12-hour break between shifts and a guaranteed 30 hours a week.
This first day of disruption will be followed by pilots halting planes for four hours both on Saturday and Sunday.
Overall, Jetstar claimed it will cancel 44 services on Saturday and 46 services on Sunday 15 December.
Pilots industrial action will continue throughout the week with a range of lower level bans likely to cause delays.
Jetstar workers begin 2-hour strikes around the country this morning following a rejection of all their claims, such as more rest breaks & 12-hour breaks between shifts || @SBSNews pic.twitter.com/JerV8LO6mZ
— Charlotte Lam (@lottie_lam) December 12, 2019
The company says any customers travelling from December 13 to December 20 can request a full refund prior to flying.
Pay negotiations broke down after nearly a year, with Jetstar warning it wasn’t prepared to alter its position.
“The union’s demands would put significant pressure on the low fares our customers rely on and force us to review our investments,” Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans said.
“If we accept an effective 15 per cent net increase in pay that the union is demanding, there will be significant upward pressure on the low fares our customers rely on.”