19 December 2019
Jetstar baggage and ramp workers are walking off the job today in morning strikes at Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Cairns and Avalon airports after the company refused to meet modest claims that address poverty wages.
Jetstar have rejected the pay claims of baggage and ramp workers, who are the lowest paid workers in the Qantas Group. They also rejected claims for 30 hours guaranteed a week, more rest breaks, 12 hours between shifts, more consultation with workers and commitment on the engagement of untrained casual staff.
“We have appealed to Jetstar to come to its senses and accept our modest claims. We asked them to consider the pain these workers accepted when they took an 18 month wage freeze two years ago. We requested an end to the stand-over, bullying tactics aimed at forcing workers to accept poverty wages. All we have received is a response from Jetstar that they won’t negotiate beyond their wages policy. We don’t agree with this wage policy and ironically enough we don’t think that the Jetstar CEO on $3.7 million or the Qantas CEO who earned $24 million agrees with it either, given their salary packages,” said TWU National Secretary Michael Kaine.
“Our claims are modest and they address safety and pay concerns. Workers must be able to support their families and we don’t think that 90 cents extra an hour per worker is too much to ask for. They must be able to leave work in the same condition that they came to work in. We are appealing for fairness and for safety risks to be addressed,” he added.
Fears continue about the safety of workers after Safe Work NSW issued a notice to Jetstar saying workers were at risk of “serious injury” including being “crush and ingested” around operational aircraft.