Qantas will lock us out: striking workers

Release date: 28/09/2011

A union says it is expecting Qantas to lock workers out ahead of planned strike action, potentially causing major delays.

Australian Associated Press


Members of the Transport Workers Union will stop work at all major Australian airports for one hour at 8.00am on Friday.


"Qantas doubled the impact last time by locking out its own workforce.... there is every possibility that they may well make that decision (again)," TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.


Qantas previously said the strike would disrupt travel plans of thousands of passengers including those flying to Melbourne for the AFL grand final, New Zealanders heading to Sydney for the NRL grand final and families travelling for school holidays.


Mr Sheldon accused Qantas of using bullying and harassment tactics on striking workers.


"Will the company be banging on doors at midnight tonight and Thursday night like they did last time informing employees that they were going to be locked out" Mr Sheldon said.


"Its bullying, its harassment, having some person knocking on your door and waking your family up in the middle of the night is the sort of tactics that Qantas is engaging in."


Mr Sheldon wouldn't confirm if more strike action was planned after Friday but said it was likely.

"There is every likelihood of strikes of longer duration (that are) more repetitive on the basis that the company is failing to meet very fundamental expectations of the workforce," he said.


He said workers were calling for greater job security and for Qantas not to send jobs overseas.

Friday's strike by 3,800 staff is part of an ongoing campaign of protected industrial action by baggage handlers and ground staff over pay and conditions.


Meanwhile, the union representing customs and quarantine workers has warned passengers at Sydney airport to prepare for more delays as they launch a new round of stoppages.


The one-hour stoppages at Sydney International airport, which aim to put pressure on management over what the union says is a lack of progress in pay negotiations, will occur through the day on Thursday and Saturday.

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