Virgin staff put at risk, says union

Release date: 7/08/2011

Virgin Australia has been accused of not warning its baggage handlers about a bomb threat to one of its planes at Sydney Airport on Thursday before they were asked to offload bags so they could be checked for explosives.

Natalie O'Brien, The Sydney Morning Herald

Virgin denies the claim, but the senior airline official from the Transport Workers Union, Mick Pieri, has sent a letter of complaint to the airline and to WorkCover saying the baggage handlers had been placed in direct danger without a caution.


''The operation at Sydney Aiport was in stark contrast to the way the bomb threat was handled at Mosman this week,'' he said.


He said the Virgin baggage handlers should have been given the option as to whether they wanted to take the risk.


But a spokesman for Virgin said those asked to offload the bags were thoroughly briefed about the situation and there was no danger to the aircraft.


A passenger made the bomb threat as flight DJ402 from Sydney to Adelaide was taxiing to the runway ahead of taking off, about 6.45 am on Thursday. A woman, 32, was arrested by the Australian Federal Police, who said there was no threat to the public.


A spokesman said the aircraft had been searched and at no time were any baggage handlers or staff endangered.

Click here to read the story on SMH website

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