Jetstar Force Vote on Bad Agreement

Release date: 5/02/2016

The Australian, by Mitchell Bingemann, 5 February 2016
Jetstar is bypassing the Transport Workers Union and asking 350 of its baggage handlers to put an end to a long-running pay dispute by voting in favour of an 18-month pay freeze.

The new enterprise agreement is based on the same deal that has been rolled out across Qantas’s workforce and will earn the workers a one-time 5 per cent bonus but also lock them into an 18-month pay freeze.
A ballot will open from February 12 and 19 for employees to vote on the proposed three-year agreement.
The new deal promises three pay increases of 3 per cent to occur in March 2016, March 2017 and March 2018; guarantees of a minimum of 30 hours for all current part-time employees; and extra allowances for higher skilled duties requiring special qualifications.
“We have a good offer on the table which will provide wage increases and improvements in conditions for our ground handling team,” said Jetstar head of airport operations Mike Cooper.
The deal has not been endorsed by the TWU, which continues to rail against the airline’s offer, saying Jetstar had been “intransigent” during more than 12 months of negotiations.
“They are insisting that a wage freeze, initiated by the Qantas Group during a time of massive loss, should be imposed on Jetstar workers during a time of massive profit,” said TWU National Secretary Tony Sheldon.
“Jetstar wants none of the obligations to its workers that Qantas have, but all of the trade-offs.
“On wage growth, Jetstar are ‘Qantas’; on employment conditions Jetstar are ‘not Qantas’.”
In total Qantas has closed 24 EBAs covering more than 10,000 staff including pilots, cabin crew, TWU members and engineers.

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